Angry Lavulavu reacts to impeachment allegations, calls Speaker a ‘dictator’

The Speaker of Parliament repeatedly warned Hon. ‘Etuate Lavulavu this morning after the Minister used threatening language against him and called him a dictator.

Hon. Lavulavu, the MP for Vava’u 16 was furious when he learned a motion of impeachment motion against him was to be read in the House.

The motion accuses him, in part, of misusing his position as Minister of Infrastructure.

Hon. Lavulavu accused his fellow Vava’u MPs of being behind the impeachment.

He reacted angrily when the Speaker repeatedly warned him to sit down.

He threatened to impeach the Speaker for not allowing him to respond to his accusations.

The Speaker, Lord Tu’ivakano, told Hon. Lavulavu he could not be given the opportunity to respond to his impeachment because the matter was being referred for further consideration by the Privilege Standing Committee.

The Speaker told Hon. Lavulavu the Privilege Committee would assess the impeachment motion to see whether or not there was sufficient evidence to allow it to be placed before the House for deliberation.

Lord Tu’ivakano said the procedure was fair.

If the Committee, which was made up of capable members, validated the impeachment, then Hon. Lavulavu would be given the opportunity to respond when the impeachment was returned to the House.

Only part of the impeachment was read in the House this morning in accordance with the House rulings.

It alleged Hon. Lavulavu had misused his role as minister and mismanaged government possessions. He has denied the accusations.

The impeachment was submitted to the House by the Vava’u Member of the Nobles, Lord Tu’ilakepa.

Hon. Lavulavu apologised to the House when members returned for the second part of today’s sitting of Parliament after the lunch break.

Hon Lavulavu said he had behaved as he did because he wanted his side of the impeachment to be heard in public.

The tension in the House this morning led the Speaker to remind the House of the protocols and the House rulings, saying he had the power to order an MP out of the House if he disobeyed his order.

Today was the House’s first session after it returned from its mid-year recess, which began in June.

The main points

  • The Speaker of Parliament repeatedly warned Hon. ‘Etuate Lavulavu this morning after the Minister used threatening language against him and called him a dictator.
  • Lavulavu, the MP for Vava’u 16 and Minister for Infrastructure, was furious when he learned a motion of impeachment motion against him was to be read in the House.
  • The impeachment was submitted to the House by the Vava’u Member of the Nobles, Lord Tu’ilakepa.
  • It alleges Hon. Lavulavu misused his role as minister and mismanaged government possessions. He has denied the accusations.

For more information

Parliament of Tonga

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