Tonga's newly elected Prime Minister says there is a lot of clean up work needing to be done in Parliament.
Tonga's newly elected prime minister says there is a lot of clean up work needing to be done in Parliament.
Akilisi Pohiva, the country's first democratically elected leader, has been in power for just five weeks.
He told Tongans at a gathering in Auckland on Monday that he cannot begin implementing any of his policies until the new financial year begins in July.
He spoke to Indira Moala.
AKILISI POHIVA: We are fully occupied and committed to starting up a cleaning process. We have a lot of things to be done. In fact, the outgoing government left incomplete and unfinished works to be done and we are still trying to tap in to the current situation. And also to attend to this cleaning up process and it will take time. Not only that but we are still in the process of trying to know exactly the financial situation in our government, which takes time. That's what we are doing now.
INDIRA MOALA: In terms of cleaning up the finances, you have the same Minister of Finance, Aisake Eke, who was in the last cabinet, he's still there now. Will you be holding him to account for anything?
AP: Well, yes. But you know, we are still following the current budget until the end of June. And I think Aisake is now in the process of trying to come out with the real economic or financial situation of the government.
IM: I just want to raise an issue that you spoke about yesterday. You said that Tongans should be more aware of the threat of foreigners - in terms of ai kakai siaina (asian foreigners) who are there right now. Are there any fears that you have for the future of Tonga with their influence?
AP: We have. You know the outgoing government borrowed a huge amount of money from China and we are now stuck with all this debt burden. And as I said we are fully occupied with other commitments we still don't have time to look at how to tackle, how to deal with this debt burden left behind by the outgoing government.
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