Dr 'Aisake Eke was forced to resign from his role as Minister of Finance. Photo/Tonga Broadcasting Commission (Facebook)

Tongan Finance Minister Dr Aisake Eke said today he was shocked by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s claims that he had been sack because they had disagreements.

In a letter to Hon. Pohiva, Hon. Eke said this amounted to saying that he was causing problems with the Prime Minister’s leadership.

“I take it that you are just making it up to find strong excuses for demanding my resignation,” Dr. Eke said.

The minister said when he and the Prime Minister met on February 28, Hon. Pohiva  told him their work relationship was fine and there was no problem even though he abstained from last week’s vote of no confidence.

The Prime Minister demanded Dr Eke’s resignation in a letter delivered to him during a Sunday service at the Free Wesleyan Church.

In the letter Hon. Pohiva cited Dr Eke’s abstention from the vote of no confidence and disagreements on issues of national interest.

Dr. Eke said he abstained from voting because he believed some of the accusations in the motion of no confidence were true and some were false.

He said the accusations about the Prime Minister’s behaviour over outgoing Minister ‘Etuate Lavulavu and Pacific Sports CEO Lord Sevele were true.

The court quashed his dismissal of Lord Sevele.

“I advised you to just use the Pacific Council Sports power given to the Audit and Good Governance Committee to monitor Sevele and his committee and that this would help us avoid taking any illegal action against him,” Dr. Eke said.

“Members of Parliament have a right to vote against or for whatever he or she thinks is the best for the nation and the people as a whole.

“This is why I chose to abstain. However, I knew for sure the majority would vote for you and that you would win.”

Dr. Eke said the Prime Minister had the right to dismiss members of his cabinet and he had no choice but to resign.

“We have been in politics since 2011 and I have come to know things about you that I did not know before,” he said in his letter to Hon. Pohiva.

“I would like to thank you very much for the opportunity you have given me to serve the nation.

“I apologise to you if my performance did not meet your expectation.

“I wish you good luck and may God give you wisdom and blessing so that you continue to lead our nation throughout the last two years of your parliamentary terms.”

The main points

  • Tongan Finance Minister Dr Aisake Eke said today he was shocked by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s claims that he had been sacked because they had disagreements.
  • In a letter to Hon. Pohiva, Dr. Eke said this amounted to saying that he was causing problems with the Prime Minister’s leadership.
  • “I take it that you are just making it up to find stronger excuses for demanding my resignation,” Dr. Eke said.
  • Dr Eke said the Prime Minister had the right to dismiss members of his cabinet and he had no choice but to resign.

For more information

Minister’s future in doubt as PM considers replacement in wake of no confidence vote

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  1. Kuo pehē ʻe he Minisitā Paʻanga ʻa Tongá Dr ʻAisake Eke he ʻahó ni ne ne ʻohovale he pehē ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá ko hono tuli ia koeʻuhī he ne ʻi ai e fetōʻaki.

    ʻI ha tohi ki he ʻEiki Palēmiá ne pehē ʻe ʻOnapolo Eke ʻoku ʻuhinga leva ʻeni kiate ia ta ne ne hoko ia ko e palopalema ki he tataki ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá.

    ʻOku ou fakaʻuhingaʻi ʻeni ko hoʻo kumi pe ha ʻuhinga mamafa ke tuʻunga ai ʻa hoʻo tuʻutuʻuni mai ke u fakafisí, ko e tohi ia ʻa Eké.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe he minisitaá ko e taimi ko ē ne na fakataha ai mo e ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻi Fēpueli ʻaho 28, ne fakahā ange ʻe ʻOnapolo Pōhiva ki ai ʻoku sai pe ʻenau ngāué pea ʻoku ʻikai ha palopalema neongo ʻe ne ʻikai hikinima he Fili ʻIkai Falalaʻanga ʻo e uike kuo hilí.

    Naʻe tuʻutuʻuni e ʻEiki Palēmiá ke fakafisi ʻa Dr Eke ʻi ha tohi ne tiliva atu ki ai lolotonga haʻanau Kalasi ʻAho he Siasi Uēsiliana Tauʻatāiná.

    ʻI he tohí ni ne lave ai ʻa ʻOnapolo Pōhiva ki he ʻikai hikinima ʻa Dr Eké mo ne pehē ne ʻi ai ʻa e fetōʻaki mo ia ʻi he ngaahi kaveinga mātuʻaki mahuʻinga ki hono fakalele ʻo e fonuá.

    Naʻe pehē ʻe Dr Eke ne ʻikai hikinima ia ʻi he voutí koeʻuhī he ne ne tui ia ki he ngaahi tukuakiʻi ʻe niʻihi ne ʻomi he fokotuʻu taʻefalalaʻangá ʻoku moʻoni pea niʻihi naʻe ʻikai moʻoni.

    Ne ne pehē ko e tukuakiʻi e angafai ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá kau kia ʻEtuate Lavulavu ko e minisitā ne tuku ki tuʻá mo e CEO ʻo e Kōmiti Sipoti Pasifiki ʻa Tongá Looti Sevelé naʻe moʻoni ia.

    Ne ʻikai tali ʻe he fakamaauʻangá e teke fakalao ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá ke tuku ki tuʻa kinautolú.

    Pehē ʻe Eke ne ne faleʻi ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá ke ngāueʻaki pe ʻa e mafai ʻo e Pacific Sports Council ʻoku oange ki he kōmiti ʻĀtitá mo e Pule Leleí koeʻuhi ke ʻoua naʻa hoko ai ha ngāue taʻefakalao.

    Ne ne pehē foki ʻoku ʻi ai ʻa e totonu ʻa e kau Mēmipa Fale Aleá ke nau hikinima ʻo fakatatau ki heʻenau tui ki he meʻa ʻe lelei taha ki he fonuá mo e kakai fakakātoa.

    Ko e ʻuhinga ʻeni naʻá ku fili ai ke ʻoua teu hikinimá pea naʻá ku ʻilo fakapapau pe ʻe au ʻe fili pe tokolahi ia kiate koe peá te ke ikuna pe koe, ko e tohi ia ʻa Eké.

    Ne pehē ʻe Dr Eke ʻoku ʻa e ʻEiki Palēmiá ʻa e totonu ke ne fakahifo ha mēmipa ʻo e kapinetí pea ʻoku ʻikai haʻane toe fili ka ko e pau ke ne talangofua.

    Ko e talu ʻeni ʻetau fononga mai he politikí talu mei he 2011 ka kuó u toki ʻilo ʻeni e ʻū meʻa lahi kau kiate koe naʻe ʻikai ke u ʻilo ki ai, ko e tohi ia ʻa Eke kia Pōhivá.

    Ne ne fakamālō ki he ʻEiki Palēmiá he faingamālie ne ne lave ai ʻo ne faifatongia maʻa e fonuá mo ʻoatu foki ʻene talamonū kia Pōhiva mo e toenga teemi ko ʻeni ʻoku hanga mai ki heʻene tataki ʻoku faí.