Tonga Parliament live broadcast cancellation concerns listeners

A local mainstream radio station in Tonga has complaint after Parliament reportedly canceled a much-anticipated live coverage session this morning. 

The Kele’a Voice radio station Manager Teisa Pōhiva claimed all radio stations tasked with the Parliament’s live coverage had been cancelled.

However, there had been also unconfirmed reports on social media that the Parliament Live was aired on another AM radio station this morning.

The unexpected shutdown has confused many listeners who anticipated listening to the swearing-in of four new MPs on Kele’a Voice radio station, which was regularly shared on Facebook live.

Tonga Parliament

Concerned listeners took to Facebook just before midday to ask what was happening.

“Transparency in this country is a bloody joke”, the Kele’a Voice manager, Lawyer Teisa Pōhiva said.

Commenters on Facebook wanted answers from Parliament saying this was a highly awaited session for the people to listen to the first speeches by their MPs in the House.

The Parliament’s website said last week that the “Legislative Assembly will reconvene next Wednesday, November 23”.

It said the adjournment until further notice it previously announced was, “a decision reached during its last sitting on 1 November 2022”.

“The Hon. Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni sought the House’s approval for an adjournment to enable him and some Cabinet Ministers to accompany his Majesty King Tupou VI who led Tonga’s delegation to the COP 27 Egyptian meeting at Sharm-el-Sheikh”.

A new MP and Minister of Finance, Tiofilusi Tiueti was expected to be sworn in as well as three newly elected MPs Dulcie Tei, Māteni Tapueluelu and Piveni Piukala.

Tiueti was elected by Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku as Minister outside the Legislative Assembly to replace Tatafu Moeaki who had been unseated for bribery.

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