PM still will not confirm whether he will ask Minister Lavulavu to resign if found guilty

'Oku taupotu 'i lalo ha fakamatala fakaTonga

Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa has declined to confirm whether he would ask ‘Akosita Lavulavu to resign if she is found guilty in the two court cases she is facing.

(L-R) Prime Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa, Infrastructure Minister Akosita Lavulavu and Opposition Leader Sēmisi Sika

“Let the law rule,” he told Kaniva News.

Asking the Prime Minister to make a comment, he was reminded that in the past Ministers have either resigned on their own volition or they were ordered to resign, especially if the accusations laid against them were as those facing Infrastructure Minister  Lavulavu.

None of them went to court to clear their names before they resigned.

These included Minister of Finance Cecil Cocker in 1995, Education Minister Tutoatasi Fakafanua and Minister of Justice Tevita Tupou in 2001, Prime Minister Ulukalala Lavka Ata in 2006, Minister of Justice ‘Alisi Taumoepeau in 2010,  Minister of Finance Lisiate ‘Akolo in 2014 and Deputy Prime Minister Vuna Fa’otusia in 2021.

Opposition Leader Sēmisi Sika said the Prime Minister should advise Lavulavu to resign.


If he did not, this would reflect badly on the  integrity and values of the Prime Minister’s leadership.

“It is all about what it is in there for him and not for the country,” Sika said.

This afternoon April 5 the Prime Minister said the accusations against Lavulavu had been processed according to the constitution and the law.

“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty,” he said.

“It was the same scenario which applied to the ministers in the past, not what the media said and how somebody hates somebody.”

The Prime Minister questioned whether the Ministers listed above resigned and claimed that the charges made against them were “based on malice, revenge and smear campaigns by some Opposition candidates.”

Records of the resignations are available and as the former Auditor General, the Prime Minister should remember what happened. None of these Ministers who resigned in Tonga had their cases taken up with the courts.

Tongan courts have no power to  order a cabinet minister to resign. That power rests with the Prime Minister and the king by the constitution.

Prime Minister Tu’i’onetoa  also questioned whether the late ‘Akilisi Pōhiva resigned when he was charged with seditious conspiracy after the Nuku’alofa riot on 16 November 2006.

He said he was not on the list of the seven ministers who resigned that we provided to him.

The late Pōhiva was not a member of the Cabinet at the time he was charged.


Na’e ‘oange ha faingmālie ki he ‘Eiki Palēmia’ ko e hā ha’ane lau ki he ui ko ‘eni’ ke fakafisi ‘ene MInisitā ki he Ngaahi Ngāue Lalahi’ tu’unga he’ene ongo hopo lalahi ‘e ua kuo kamata’. Pehē ‘e he Palēmia tuku ke pule ‘a e lao’ ‘o ne ‘uhinga ‘oku tonuhia ‘a e taha kotoa pe kae ‘oua leva ke fakamo’oni’i kuo halaia ‘i he fakamaau’anga’. Na’e toe ‘eke ange leva ki ai pe ko ‘ene ‘uhinga’ ka iku ‘o halaia ‘a ‘Akosita he’ene ongo hopo ko ‘eni’, te ne tu’utu’uni ke ne fakafisi? Pea’ ne ‘ikai ha tali hangatonu ‘a e PM ki he fehu’i ko ia’. Ko e kau minisitā kotoa ‘a Tonga ne fakafisi ki mu’a’ meimei ne nau fakafisi hili hanau tukuaki’i pea ni’ihi nau fakafisi pe ‘ia kinautolu pe ko hono tu’utu’uni’i ke fakafisi i honau ngaahi tukuaki’i’. Ne ‘ikai ha taha ‘ia kinautolu ‘e iku ‘enau ngaahi keisi’ ki he fakamaau’anga’ tuku kehe ‘a ‘Akosita ne fekau ke fakafisi ‘i he 2018′ hili hono faka’ilo ia tukuaki’i ki hano fa’u kākaa’i ha fakamatala ke ma’u ai ha pa’anga lahi mei he pule’anga’. Ne toe ui ia ‘e Tu’ionetoa ke ne hoko ko ‘ene minisitā ‘o a’u ko ‘eni ke kamata ‘ene hopo ko ia’ he uike kaha’u’.


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