31 Aug 2004

Uncertainty over position of sacked Tongan Ministers continues

7:28 am on 31 August 2004

There is considerable uncertainty still in Tonga over the status of three ministers of the crown.

Three cabinet ministers, including the influential police minister, Clive Edwards, were relieved of their portfolios in a reshuffle on Friday.

The editor of the Taimi O Tonga newspaper, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the announcement came from the Prime Minister.

But he says there's doubt about whether the King gave his royal assent to the sackings.

"We are not being told that the King personally signed letters to the effect of sacking the first three ministers. We are not told that. We are told that the letters came from the prime minister himself. Now Section 51 of the constitution stipulates that the King and the King alone can do that."

Mateni Tapueluelu, of the Taimi o Tonga newspaper.