30 May 2016

Tonga claims right to make 2019 Games decisions

12:25 pm on 30 May 2016
Lord Sevele, formerly Fred, (Feleti) Sevele.  Former PM of Tonga.

Lord Sevele. Photo: wikicommons

The Tongan government says it will not submit to the wishes of the Pacific Games Council when it comes to the local organising committee for the 2019 games.

The Prime Minister's Office released a statement saying a government authority, chaired by 'Akilisi Pohiva, approved the sacking of Lord Sevele as CEO and chair of the committee.

The statement said that as of Friday evening Lord Sevele would be terminated as CEO and chair.

However the Organising Committee has told Radio Tonga that Lord Sevele's contract is continuing.

The Committee says the Pacific Games Council is the only body that can terminate the employment of the Lord Sevele.

The Chairman of the Pacific Games Council has previously warned the government not to interfere with the organising committee and said it could start looking at cancelling Tonga's host country agreement.

However the government says, as a sovereign state, it will not submit to the Games Council when it comes to deciding who to employ to facilitate the 2019 games.

The Games Council has declined to comment.

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