17 Mar 2005

Tongan noble deplores ousting of Tu'ipelehake

3:04 pm on 17 March 2005

A re-elected Nobles' Representative in the Tongan Parliament says yesterday's election defeat of Prince Uluvalu Tu'ipelehake is a big loss to the house.

The King's nephew lost his Ha'apai seat to Hon. Tu'i Ha'ateiho when the nobles chose for their nine representatives in the 30-member assembly.

Prince Tu'ipelehake had been an advocate for political reform during his last term.

Tongatapu Representative Hon. Tu'ivakano says the Prince's outspokenness may have cost him his seat.

"His spoke his mind and I think he did what he thought was good for the country, but apparently the Ha'apai nobles think otherwise. But I'm quite sad he didn't get in, but I'm hoping he will get back in in the by-elections."

Hon. Tu'ivakano says because of the new make-up of cabinet, for which two People's Representatives and two Noble Representatives will be appointed, by-elections will be needed to replace them.

Meanwhile, polls are due to close later this afternoon in the election of the nine commoners in the assembly.