22 Jan 2015

Tongan PM accused of nepotism in Parliament

8:27 pm on 22 January 2015

Noble's representative Lord Vaea has accused the Prime Minister of Tonga of nepotism by employing his son as his Personal Assistant.

Radio Tonga reports that Lord Vaea made the comments in Parliament and said it has always been the agenda of Mr Pohiva to fight against corruption and bad governance which includes nepotism.

The Minister of Finance 'Aisake Eke pointed out that the salary of the Prime Minister's son is not paid out of any government revenue, but is paid out directly from his own salary.

The Minister of Infrastructure 'Etuate Lavulavu says the role of a Personal Assistant is to assist in personal matters and as such, ministers were allowed to choose their own Personal Assistants including personal drivers.

The Prime Minister says he needs his son to be beside him at all times because of his failing health and the fact that he needs someone personal to rely on for matters that are personal and confidential.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ