26 Jun 2012

Ex-minister calls for Tonga to choose non-Noble PM

3:23 pm on 26 June 2012

A Tongan MP, who is one of three to resign from Cabinet this week, says the people want a popularly elected representative as Prime Minister.

Sunia Fili, who has been Police Minister since last month and Finance Minister before that, resigned to back the Democratic Party's planned vote of no confidence in the government of the noble, Lord Tu'ivakano.

The others to resign were the Health Minister Uliti Uata and the Minister of Labour, Isileli Pulu.

Mr Fili says he has changed his allegiance since the election in November 2010, which he contested as an independent.

"I was not in the [Democratic] Party at the time, so I did do my best to appoint a noble to lead Tonga for the first time of our new democratic system. So I gave them an opportunity. There are some allegations about the running of government and corruption, whatever, but it seems to me that we have to change. As I understand that is what the people need."