Democrats may only need two extra votes to topple Tu‘i‘onetoa in no confidence ballot

Fie ma’u pe ‘e he PTOA ha toe toko ua mei he fa’ahi ‘a e pule’anga ka nau ikuna ‘a e fili fakahāloto ke tuku ki tu’a ‘a e pule’anga ‘o Tu’i’onetoa’ he māhina Sanuali’. Ko ‘ene tu’u he taimi ni’ ‘oku toko 13 e kau pāloti ‘a e pule’anga’ hili e mahino ‘oku kei ‘i muli ‘a Looti Vaha’i mo Fusitu’a. Pea toko 10 e PTOA. Tukukehe ka feinga e pule’anga’ ha vakapuna ke ‘omi ai ‘a Vaha’i koe’uhī ko e pāloti’. Ne pehē ‘e Vuna ‘oku’ ne fiemālie ‘e ‘i ai mo e kau tama ia he kapineti te nau pāloti fakataha mo ia ma’a e PTOA tupu mei he’enau ta’efiemālie ki he fu’u felātani ‘a ‘Etuate Lavulavu mo Tu’i’onetoa’ pea kuo hoko ai ha ngaahi tu’utu’uni ‘oku ‘ikai lelei ki he fonua fakalukufua’. Kuo ki’i hohoko mai hono tenge palēmia’ he ngaahi uike mai ko ‘eni’ tu’unga he’ene polokalama lotu ‘aukai fakafonua ‘e mole laui kilu ai e kau totongi tukuhau’. Lolotonga e fakamole ko ia’ ‘oku fehanuaki mai e kau tō meleni ha seniti ke tokoni’i kinautolu pea ko e kau ngāue fakapule’anga’ kuo pehē ‘e ‘ikai ma’u ‘enau hiki vāhenga fakata’u ‘inikulimeni’. Lāunga mo ha ni’ihi ‘i Vava’u hili hano fakahā ke nau ngaahi pola ke tali e kau lotu ‘aukai’. Taimi tatau ‘oku fai e sio pe ko e fa’ahinga lotu ‘aukai fē ia ‘oku ‘osi ange kuo hangē kuo lahi ange e kaihave' ia mo e ngaahi ouau fakafonua fakasōsiale fakamāmani’ he ngaahi ouau fakalaumālie ne tonu ke fai'.

The Democrats could topple the government of Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa with less than a handful of votes when Parliament reconvenes in January.

Deputy PM Vuna Fā’otusia, PM Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa and PTOA Leader Sēmisi Sika

Deputy Prime Minister Vuna Fā’otusia, who helped PTOA Leader Sēmisi Sika tabled the motion of no confidence in Hon. Tu’i’onetoa, said there were Cabinet Ministers who supported the PTOA (Democrats), but did not name them, implying these ministers would only come out in the secret ballot when the vote took place next month.

The motion of no confidence was signed by 10 MPs.

That means the Democrats may only need to obtain two more votes to win.

The Parliament consists of 26 MPs. When it comes to the day of the vote the Speaker will not participate in the ballot as he will act as the chair of the process.

That leaves the House with only 25 MPs to cast their ballots. Ten MPs have already demonstrated their support for the Deputy Prime Minister by signing the motion.

Lord Fusitu’a was airlifted to New Zealand last year after becoming seriously ill and it appears he will not be able to return to Tonga soon. Lord Vaha’i is stuck in the United States because of the border closures.

Unless the government charters a repatriation flight from the US to bring Lord Vaha’i home, the PTOA will only need two government MPs to join them.


Deputy Prime Minister Vuna Fa’otusia is confident of victory.

“I believe that once the vote of no confidence is cast, only Hon. Tu’i’onetoa, and Akosita Lavulavu will be on the other side,” Hon. Fa’otusia told Kaniva News.

It is understood that Hon. Fa’otusia was discontented with Hon. Tu’i’onetoa’s relationship with  convicted former Cabinet Member Etuate Lavulavu. Hon. Fa’otusia blamed Lavulavu for being the “mastermind” behind the Prime Minister, who appeared to do whatever he was told.

We have asked the Prime Minister for a response.

Hon. Tu’i’onetoa has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks over his government’s prayer and fasting tours of the outer islands. These are estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of pa’anga at a time when melon growers are facing a financial crisis because their crops have been banned from New Zealand. The politicians are seen to be amassing piles of expensive handicrafts and gifts

As we reported earlier this week, people and officials in the outer islands have begun to revolt at demands that they pay for huge, expensive feasts.

It has also been hard for many people to see how the Prime Minister can be promoting fasting if he and his fellow tourists are eating so much.

Because the motion was tabled on the last sitting day of parliament for the year the Speaker, Lord Fakafanua, ruled that a tentative date for the motion to be tabled in the house would be the next sitting day, January 12.


The vote of no confidence in Prime Minister  Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa is a golden opportunity for the Democratic Party and its supporters to have an honest look at themselves and make sure they are fit to take up the reins of power again.

This gives the Democrats just over three weeks to forge a unified front, make sure they have the numbers to win the vote and to convince the public they can rule wisely and effectively so they will  win the next election

However, the Democrats have work to do.

Once upon a time they were supported  by the majority of Tongans.

In recent years many former supporters and members of the public have become disenchanted because the party was in disarray and Party MPs were blamed for undermining the PTOA by being hungry for power.

The Speaker has referred the motion to the Privileges Committee to ensure it complies with rules and has invited the Prime Minister to respond.

The motion and any reply will be tabled together to Parliament.

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