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Edwards's actions show a different story

California, USA

In response to Mr. Edwards: Other people were responsible for [Moala’s] imprisonment

Dear Editor,

Reading through Mr. Edwards reply to my assessment of his character, I am saddened to realize he has missed the main point of my argument. So now I’‚m going to go into more detail about what I think of the former Police Minister. He is, in the fewest number of words, an elitist. He isn’t the only one, but he definitely fit in with the circle of friends he once had.

He claims to support the commoners and wants the best for Tonga, but his actions in the past show a different story. Clive Edwards was for eight years the most active and public critic of Tonga’s pro-democracy movement even succeeding, at times, in jailing pro-democracy Members of Parliament. Now, however, he wants to join them as one of the nine Commoner MPs. How can someone who has spent close to a decade trying to keep the people out of Parliament suddenly claim that he is one of the commoners now? It’s all a ploy to get back into a position of power so as to finish a lot of what he started earlier in his career. The way he goes about this is to spread rumors about the Royal Family and other members of Parliament, … and with stories of humble beginnings and false accusations. …

Let’s concentrate on his contributions to the country of Tonga, like the Media Laws. Clive Edwards supported these changes to the Constitution and tried his hardest to have them passed. 8,000 plus people marched in Nuku’alofa in protest of the change to the Constitution. While the people of Tonga were demonstrating their anger to the changes to Clause 7, Clive Edwards and five of his minister buddies were busy putting together village meetings to find support for the change. At the meetings, which were later televised, many people challenged the need for the change and support for the government was very low, even among the more conservative village leaders. In desperation, Edwards responded by accusing the HRDM politicians of treason. It’s nice to see he’s done an about face and now blames everyone else for the Media Laws. There’s a pattern of pushing the blame onto others with Mr. Edwards. What does he take credit for?

He does take credit for getting murderer Dennis Priven off on an insanity plea. Yes, it is the place of the defense attorney to help his or her client, but as a human being, Edwards knew Priven was guilty…. Edwards chose to convince the jurors that Priven was crazy. Edwards was to brag how at the preliminary hearing he sidetracked the Crown into wasting time thinking he was preparing a not guilty defense on the facts when he knew the insanity defense was the only option. When the case went to trial he mounted the first insanity defense in Tonga. He bragged about the case, he bragged about winning a case for a murderer who stabbed a girl barely out of her teens twenty two times in the chest. Where is the humanity in that?

If I lived in Tonga, warning signals would be going off in my head right now. It seems that anyone who believes in equality and who respect the individual rights of others seem to end up on Mr. Edwards’ target list. Filokalafi ‘Akaul’ola had already been arrested with two other pro-democracy supporters in January for inciting Police Minister Clive Edwards to anger.

If you have to serve prison time for angering Mr. Edwards; I’d hate to see what would happen to you if the hangman…‚ considered you a real threat. The actions that Mr. Edwards has been showcased having so far don’t resemble anything close to the voice of the people. In fact, though he proclaims to be a man who has been misinterpreted throughout his entire career, I’m willing to bet that he is more the elitist we’ve always known him to be and that this “man of the people”…‚ act will end shortly. I’m more inclined to look towards the other thirty commoner candidates. Let’s give others a try in areas that people in the past, like Edwards, have failed.

As for Mr. Edward’s claims that the Royal Family have been up to no good behind the King’s back, let’s all look at our own families first. No family is perfect and Mr. Edwards is no exception. Are they busy helping him fight his cause, as the man of the people? …

If we would put validity to the old Tongan stories we’ve grown up with about people’s actions and lifestyles being predetermined by the blood that runs through their veins, we would have to conclude that Mr. Edwards is more of a reality-television celebrity than an actual politician. …

Mr. Edwards continues to insult the people of Tonga with his lies…. The mendacities that exist within his campaign and his career are overflowing. He turned his back on the people when he became a power hungry elitist and now he’s running a smear campaign against his old friends to win the people’s favor. I believe he has insulted the people of Tonga’s intelligence far enough and I believe that they will express their feelings come March 17.

Malo ‘Aupito,

Siane Tui’one

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