Pōhiva calls Lord Tu‘ivakanō’s advice for king to dissolve House worthless

Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva said former Speaker Lord Tu’ivakanō’s advice for the king to
dissolve Parliament had proved to be worth nothing (“Tatau mo e fo‘i noa”).

He said people understood what he was talking about and that was why they returned him
and the Democrats to Parliament with an increased majority to Parliament in the snap
election.

“I am wondering what Tu’ivakanō would think of after the elections,” Hon Pōhiva said.

The Prime Minister said Parliament should replace Lord Tu’ivakanō on Monday.

His Majesty King Tupou VI dissolved Parliament after he received advice from the Speaker of Parliament Lord Tu’ivakanō.

At the time, Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu said the king had the prerogative to not explain why he had dissolved the House.

Lord Tu‘ivakanō later released a statement outlining the reasons why he advised the king to
dismiss the House.

He said he was concerned Hon. Pōhiva and his Party were trying to remove some of the
king’s power.

Hon. Pōhiva said the king still held the power of veto to reject any laws the Parliament has
passed.

He said the proposal they had been about to submit to Parliament would have to have been
signed by the king to become law.

“If the king did not like those amendments he would not sign them and we would have to
abide by his decision,” Hon. Pōhiva told Kaniva News.

He said the constitution allowed any Tongan to submit any laws and the process was clear.

They had to be submitted to the House to be discussed and if they were passed they had to
be taken to the king to sign. If the king did not want that law to come into effect he would
not sign it.

“That’s why I said Lord Tu’ivakanō has given wrong advice to the king to dissolve
Parliament,” Hon. Pōhiva said.

New Speaker

Next Monday (December 18), all MPs will elect Tonga’s next Prime Minister, the new
Speaker of Parliament and their deputies.

The new Speaker must be one of the king’s noble MPs, according to the constitution.
Hon. Pōhiva implied that if his Party won the premiership, they would vote for a new
Speaker.

He said he no longer trusted Lord Tu’ivakanō after he had “badly advised” the king.

“I and the PTOA have the numbers to decide who is our next Speaker,” Hon Pōhiva said.

Hon. Pōhiva has praised Lord Fakafanua as a “brillant” well educated young noble who had
shown himself to be bright and clever when he became Speaker of the House in 2010.

The main points

  • Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva said former Speaker Lord Tu’ivakanō’s advice for the
    king to dissolve Parliament last year had proved to be worth nothing (“Tatau mo e
    fo‘i noa”).
  • He said that was why the people returned him and the Democrats to Parliament with
    an increased majority to Parliament in the snap election.
  • The Prime Minister said Parliament should replace Lord Tu’ivakanō on Monday.
  • He said he no longer trusted Lord Tu’ivakanō after he had “badly advised” the king.

For more information
Non Party MPs should support PTOA and refrain from nominating a PM designate, says
Pōhiva

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