24 Feb 2017

Tonga's PM response to no confidence motion delayed

12:06 pm on 24 February 2017

The vote of no confidence in the Tongan Prime Minister has been delayed over concerns with 'Akilisi Pohiva's response to the motion.

Last week the Speaker of the House announced the Prime Minister could respond before the House started its deliberation of the motion scheduled to end next Monday.

However this week Parliament has postponed its sessions while the House's Standing Committee on Privileges worked through Mr Pohiva's response to the allegations contained in the motion.

The motion accuses Mr Pohiva of nepotism, not following due process, abusing his authority and damaging the country's foreign relations.

Matangi Tonga reports the committee's time has been taken up with the removal of allegedly defamatory remarks contained in the response.

The Prime Minister had initially insisted those references not be removed.

But the Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni has moved for the references and the names of the two individuals to be deleted.

Parliament is expected to briefly hear the Prime Minister's amended response today.