24 May 2017

Tonga govt told to be wary over power grab plan

10:53 am on 24 May 2017

A political scientist says it would be a big risk for Tonga's government to take on the appointments of key public servants.

Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva's government is now drafting amendments that would allow it to control the appointments for roles such as the Police Commissioner and the Attorney General, which are currently handled by the Privy Council with the King.

There has been opposition to the government's push from widely differing sectors and the director of Massey University's Pacific Research Centre, Malakai Koloamatangi, agrees, saying it would be about the balance of power, accountability and transparency.

"These things are considerations that were previously voiced by the Prime Minister and his party, so one would expect that that is carried out presently."

"So to want to control a number of these things or not to be accountable is problematic, democratically," he said.

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Massey University's Dr Malakai Koloamatangi Photo: Massey University

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