Speaker denies Pōhiva’s claims Sovaleni, Lavemaau, knew about advice to king

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Lord Tuʻivakanō. Photo/Tonga Legislative Assembly

Lord Tu’ivakanō has denied claims that the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister knew in advance about the plan to dismiss Parliament.

Hon. Tu’ivakanō, who is the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and a former Prime Minister, described the claims as “false, unfounded and utterly untrue.”

Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva alleged that the former Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, and former Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Tēvita Lavemaau were involved in, and knew about, the advice the Speaker had given to His Majesty, King Tupou VI.

The Speaker said they had nothing to do with the advice which led to the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.

The king dismissed Parliament on August 24.

Hon. Pōhiva sacked the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance before he left for Samoa to attend the Pacific Leaders forum.

As Kaniva News reported earlier this month, the Prime Minister alleged they knew about the plan to dissolve Parliament, but did not warn him because they held a grudge against him.

Hon. Pōhiva said Hon. Sovaleni and Hon. Lavemaau should have warmed him about the dissolution.

He implied that if he had been warned of the plan to dissolve the House he might have approached the king first.

It appears Hon. Pōhiva did not approach Hon. Lavemaau and Hon. Sovaleni about their dismissals.

The Prime Minister did not say whether he had proof the ministers knew about plan to dissolve Parliament.

The two dismissed cabinet members reportedly said they knew nothing about their dismissals.

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  1. ‘Oku faka’ikai’i ‘e he Sea ‘o e Fale Alea ‘o Tongá, Lord Tu’ivakanō, ʻa e fakamatala pe tukuakiʻi ʻe he ʻEiki Palēmiá, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, ne ‘i ai e kaunga pe ʻilo ‘ a e ʻEiki Tokoni Palēmia mālōloó, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni, pea pehē ki he ‘Eiki Minisitā Paʻanga & Palani Fakafonua mālōloó, Hon. Tēvita Lavemaau, ki he faleʻi ne fakahoko ‘e he Sea ki Heʻene ʻAfió, Kingi Tupou VI, ‘o makatuʻunga mei ai hono veteki (dissolve) ʻo e Fale Alea ‘o Tongá ʻo kamata lau mei he ‘aho 24 ‘o ‘Aokosi 2017.

    ‘Oku mātuʻaki taʻemoʻoni mo loi ʻa e fakamatala pe tukuakiʻi ko ʻení.

    Ne fakamamafa’i ‘e Lord Tu’ivakanō ko e faleʻi na’á ne fakahoko ki He’ene ‘Afió ne ʻikai kaunga pe ‘ilo ki ai ‘a e ‘Eiki Tokoni Palēmia mālōloó, pea pehē ki he ‘Eiki Minisitā Paʻanga & Palani Fakafonua mālōloó, ‘o hangē ko e fakamatala kuo ‘ave halaʻí.

    ‘Oku mahuʻinga ke fakamahino ke ‘ilo ‘e he kakai ʻo e fonuá ʻoku ‘ikai ke mo’ oni ‘a e tukuaki’i pe fakamatala ko ʻení.