“I will step back…we are in disarray because we pick on each other,” Hon. Pohiva tells Democrats in  speech which left followers puzzled

Democratic leader MP Siaosi Pōhiva told guests in Tongatapu he struggled before deciding to work as an independent Member of Parliament.

He warned that the PTOA (Tongan acronym for Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands) was in disarray.

MP Siaosi Pōhiva

He said  if they could not sort out their differences soon there was no way the party would win the election and form the next government.

Hon. Pōhiva made the comments during a speech he made at the launching of a new residential house. He warned Democrats that good judgement toward others must be exercised so that they could all move forward.

Followers left puzzled

Hon. Pohiva told listeners he would only come back and join them if they could unite and work together.

His audience seemed to find his statement ambiguous. Puzzled listeners at the event and online argued about whether Hon. Pohiva had left the PTOA Democratic MPs’ team known as the Core Team. Others said he would no longer support the PTOA Movements.

The new house was built in Hoi under the PTOA Global Movement’s Housing for the Poor Scheme.

Supporters of the PTOA Global Movement who were at the launching event repeatedly applauded Hon. Pohiva during his statements, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

It appears the Global Movement supporters thought Hon. Pohiva was blasting the Core Team and was in support of the Movement.

When Hon. Pohiva was contacted for comment, he replied in just one sentence.

He said: “The people have taken my remarks out of context.”

The celebration last week was also attended by Ha’apai PTOA MP Veivosa Taka. Other PTOA MPs did not attend.

Show approval for Movement

Pōhiva made the startling revelation about a week after the PTOA Core Team released a statement rejecting the PTOA Global Movement’s Housing for the Poor scheme and freebies policy.

In his speech, Hon. Pohiva applauded the Global Movement’s scheme and told guests that without their help they could not see how this family’s housing situation could be resolved.

Hon. Pōhiva’s statements came a week after a PTOA Global leader responded to the Core Team release and said no one had registered the name PTOA and the Movement was free to use the name in its attempt to push for a more democratic reform in Tonga.

The Core Team condemned the Global Movement for using offensive language in its criticisms.

Pohiva’s speech

Online users shared Hon. Pohiva’s Facebook video and said he was quitting the PTOA Core Team. Others said he was quitting the PTOA Movements.

“Siaosi think of the large number of people who followed your father,” Rev. ‘Inoke Masima wrote on the PTOA International Facebook page.

A response from another PTOA activist Sione ‘Eniketi Taufa to Rev Masima said: “Sorry Pastor the MP (Siaosi Pohiva) is moving to join the people. Majority Rule!”

The interpretations were based on a number of statements made by Hon Pohiva.

He appears to have indirectly blasted the Core Team when he said in Tongan that, “they should look beyond the limit of the people and their war of words using offensive language.”

“If our judgement is just based on the war of words using offensive language nothing can be done,” Hon. Pohiva said, to applause from guests in Hoi.

Family attacked

Then he appears to have criticised the Global Movement, He said the group had attacked members of his family.

“But I do not see them that way,” he said in Tongan.

He said he was invited by the man for whom the house was built to have a meal with his family.

He said the man talked about his housing problems.

Then he appears to have applauded the Movement.

“If these people did not sacrifice, where would this man be?”Siaosi said.

“We are happy that people like this did help.

“I do not condone any wrong doing. But that is something for those people to correct if they have done anything wrong.

“It is none of my responsibility to correct people who used offensive language.

“My responsibility is to love and support someone who love others.”

PTOA Disarray

“We are in disarray and the reason for this was because we were picking on each others.

“If we do not unite our endeavour to form the next government will be in vain.

“You continue on with our work. I will step back and work on my own.”

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