16 Sep 2016

Tongan PM says minister's behaviour unacceptable

6:22 am on 16 September 2016
Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

The Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva says he had no choice but to sack his former Minister of Internal Affairs over his conduct.

Mr Pohiva said after initially demanding that Fe'ao Vakata resign, he requested that the King revoke his cabinet appointment.

The Prime Minister said he had to discipline Mr Vakata after a complaint was laid against him for throwing a wine glass at a senior civil servant.

Tonga Internal Affairs Minister, Fe'ao Vakata.

Tonga Internal Affairs Minister, Fe'ao Vakata. Photo: kaniva pacific

Mr Pohiva said Mr Vakata lost control of his temper and his behaviour was unacceptable.

"Being a minister demands [the] highest standard of accountability, highest standard of honesty, diligence. But he failed, he completely failed to uphold all [these] principles, so there was no other option but to exercise my constitution power and the way I look at it, he had gone beyond what is expected of him"

Mr Pohiva said he will select a new minister when he returns from a trip to New York in a week.

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