Tonga unaware of legal action taken by PGC against its cancellation of Games host

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Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pōhiva. Photo/Kalino Lātū

The Tongan government was unaware of any legal action yet after Pacific Games council said it had taken legal action against its decision to pull the plug on hosting the 2019 Pacific Games.

The Council formally terminated its host agreement with Tonga for the Games,  after the kingdom said it could not afford the enormous challenge of mobilising finance and the impact of the cost on Tonga’s budget deficit.

The Council has begun legal proceedings against the kingdom in July, Radio New Zealand reported.

But one month after the announcement Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva told Parliament last week no official information had been communicated to the government regarding the issue.

The Council’s CEO Andrew Minogue told media they had engaged a solicitor in Tonga and “will now pursue damages through the court”.

Tonga said previously the cabinet had passed a resolution to hire a top lawyer from New Zealand to assist it in any legal challenges after the Council reportedly threatened it would take legal action against its move to cancel the host.

“Meanwhile, Guam had joined Samoa in expressing interest to host the 2019 Pacific Games.

“Guam last hosted the Games in 1999 in Santa Rita and previously in 1975 at Tumon.

“The Pacific Games Council said French Polynesia would also bid to hold the games after Tahiti missed out on winning hosting rights to Tonga.”

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