Voters should vote in MPs who could be elected Ministers, says candidate Bloomfield

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Kulufeinga 'Anisi Bloomfield

Vava’u 15 voters must make sure they elected a candidate to Parliament who could be elected as a minister, independent candidate Kulufeinga ‘Anisi Bloomfield said today.

He believed the results of this Thursday’s election could follow the pattern of 2014 general election results in which the people’s elected MPs were a mixture of independent and democratic candidates.

The elected government of ‘Akilisi Pohiva was made up of some independent, democratic MPs and one member of the nobility.

Voters should elect MPs who could bring the three party leaders to power through the exercise of their political influence, Bloomfield said.

Tonga has three unofficial parties in the last two general elections. They were the democratic party, the independents and a party led by nine noble MPs.

Bloomfield, who is Vava’u 15 candidate number 1, said that from past experience, only electorates whose MPs were elected Ministers gained benefits for their constituents through various government development projects.

Since the government of ‘Akilisi Pōhiva was elected in 2014, Vava’u 14 had received significant amounts of development aid projects.

Vava’u 15 and Vava’u 16 did not receive such benefits, Bloomfield said.

“Vava’u 14 received those benefits because their MP, Dr Siosaia Piukala, was Minister of Health,” Bloomfield said.

“If Vava’u 15 and Vava’u 16 MPs were in cabinet they would get the same advantages.”

Bloomfield said Vava’u 14 constituents received two vehicles for Ta’anea and Tefisi health centres, the first time the centres had received vehicles since its establishment.

They also had solar panels installed through a project facilitated by government.

Growers in Vava’u 14 received tractors through a project which came through cabinet.

“I do not say the government only helped Vava’u 14 and ignored the other two constituencies,” Bloomfield said.

“No. My point is the Minister facilitated the aid for his electorate because he was there in government and had the power to facilitate those development projects to happen.”

Negotiation

Bloomfield said a Vava’u MP who wanted to become a Minister must be able to negotiate with all parties after this week’s snap election.

Bloomfield believed some potential MPs from Vava’u especially Vava’u 15 could not be able to cross the floor of the House from the nobility to join other independents or the Democrats.

Vava’u voters should not elect those candidates because they could put an adverse effect on the constituents during the next four parliamentary terms, the former government CEO said.

He said he had been asked whether he could work together with Pohiva’s party if he could be elected.

Bloomfield said the most important thing for him was to make sure the Vava’u 15 MP must have a ministerial post.

Vava’u 15 MP Samiu Vaipulu was a fierce rival of Prime Minister Pohiva.

He was defeated by Pohiva in the contest for premiership in 2014.

Political stance

Bloomfield said he had supported Pōhiva and his Democratic Party in the 2014 elections.

However, in this election he told the Party he would run as an independent candidate.

“That’s after I got feedback from my constituents. They wanted me to become an independent candidate,” he said.

As part of his election campaigns at the Makave electorate last weekend, Bloomfield told constituents in a kava session the Pohiva government was formed with the help of five independent candidates.

Those candidates were all given ministerial posts.