Ousted Finance Minister and convict Tatafu Moeaki stays in gov’t as project manager

The Minster of Infrastructure Sevenitiini Toumo’ua has confirmed the ousted former Minister of Finance Tatafu Moeaki is taking a new project management role in his Ministry.

Minister of Finance Tatafu Moeaki

Hon. Toumo’ua described Moeaki’s role as a significant “milestone” set up by an accomplished person.

“I am happy to publicly announce that Tatafu Moeaki is currently working here for the Ministry”, Hon Toumo’ua told Television Tonga news in Tongan.

He praised Moeaki highly during his interview with the television and said the former Minister has a lot of experience necessary to fill the role.

Moeaki was unseated by Parliament earlier this month and lost his ministerial position after he was convicted of electoral bribery.

He, and two other Cabinet Ministers appealed their conviction, but the Court of Appeal rejected it.

Two other Cabinet Ministers  who also lost their Parliamentary seats were Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei, Member for Tongatapu 6 and  Minister for MEIDECC; and Sangster Saulala, Member for Tongatapu 7 and Minister of Internal Affairs.

The news came after the Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku was strongly criticised for his failure to use his power provided by Clause 51 (b) of the Constitution, which gave him the discretion to immediately stand down the Ministers and potentially save taxpayers money.

After their conviction they continued on as Ministers and MPs before they were unseated three months later, all with full pay and entitlements.

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