1 Oct 2012

Veteran Tongan MP could face suspension from parliament over swearing accusation

2:37 pm on 1 October 2012

Tonga People's Representative 'Akilisi Pohiva who is accused of swearing in the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday last week is now facing a possible suspension from parliament.

Matangi Tonga reports the issue arose over what it called a rambling, incoherent argument over who said what.

While a screening committee, of which Mr Pohiva is a member, had decided that certain offensive words would not be allowed to be read in the House, the MP went ahead and stated them.

The words were uttered as part of an ongoing dispute that Mr Pohiva has with former Prime Minister Lord Feleti Sevele.

Lord Sevele had written a letter to the House disputing Mr Pohiva's report into the Chinese loan to rebuild the Nuku'alofa CBD.

If Mr Pohiva is found to have committed an offence he could be suspended from parliament for a number of days, or the remainder of the 2012 parliamentary session.