26 Aug 2015

Tonga MP wanted own committee for impeachment decision

6:45 pm on 26 August 2015

There was an uproar in the Tongan Parliament on Tuesday when a cabinet minister, facing impeachment, tried to replace the Standing Committee on Privileges with his own selection.

Matangi Tonga reports the committee is currently investigating a motion calling for the impeachment of the Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism, 'Etuate Lavulavu, for alleged nepotism, and misuse and mismanagement of government properties.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee on Privileges, Lord Fusitu'a, told the House that Mr Lavulavu has so far refused to meet with the committee.

The Tongan parliament buildings

The Tongan parliament buildings Photo: Tonga Parliament

On Tuesday Mr Lavulavu tabled a motion to the House to dismantle the comnmittee, and replace members with MPs of his selection, whose job it would be to decide whether he should be impeached.

Lord Fusitu'a expressed outrage that the minister wanted to select a committee to decide on his own impeachment.

Matangi Tonga reports the upheaval in Parliament eased when the Prime Minister, Akilisi Pohiva, asked the minister to withdraw his motion, which Mr Lavulavu did.