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People of Tonga do not deserve this

England, United Kingdom

Dear Editor

The letter submitted to Parliament by the Democratic Party asking for a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the performance of the PM contains the following points:

  1.  That the PM reshuffled his ministers once, twice or thrice.
  2.  That he was not chosen by the people.
  3.  That he was unreliable.

What?  Is that it?

What the D/party has successfully highlighted here though is the weakness of the reformed constitution, the same constitution that Dr Halapua helped to create. The constitution gives the PM the freedom to choose his cabinet and he can move them round or replace them if they are not up to the task. That is what leaders do. Any business organisation gives its leaders freedom to move people around various departments where their skills can be better used for the good and benefit of the organisation. A very good example of this is the moving of Hon. Lisiate Akolo to the Finance Department – parliament has now passed a sound financial budget, which has all the hallmarks of transparency, confidence and professionalism. This is the type of professionalism that Tonga needs.

The second reason put forward is that the PM was not chosen by the people. This is not the PM’s fault is it? He became a member of parliament through an electoral system that had been devised and approved by the last parliament. The committee set up to recommend constitutional reforms proposed that the house should have 17 seats for commoners and 9 seats for nobles. This was then approved by parliament. This in itself is a weakness that needs to be dealt with because not only does it destabilise the balance of power in parliament, it is not democratic.   

The Demo party wastes so much time looking to trip up the PM but what they should do is focus, perhaps, on pushing through a motion for the constitution to be revised with an aim to having every memberof parliament elected by the people. This will give the nobles the opportunity to campaign and speak to the people and the people the opportunity to choose who they want to represent them.

PM Tu’ivakano’s status as a noble should not be an issue here, for the reformed constitution gave him the right to be in parliament and he won the PM contest fair and square. And to suggest that he was not chosen by the people is downright childish.

The third reason – unreliable? If this was read out in front of a Judge, he/she would probably throw everyone out for wasting his time. You need to give reasons for this type of character assassination – this is not a children’s playing field, this is parliament.

I believe that it is right and proper to revise the constitution in order to strengthen the parliamentary system. Every seat in parliament must be elected by the people. The speaker should be elected by members of parliament. And political parties should have a clear manifesto and policies on how they are going to run the country if they get a majority seats. That is what I am hoping that the demo party is working towards. Unfortunately this party is not playing a fair game and has resolved to gain power by using technical weaknesses of the Constitution.

The PM is doing a fantastic job and he looks confident when he deals with international organisations and other countries. He is charismatic, sincere and the best sales person we’d ever had. If I feel that this noble man was not up to the task, I would have written on this page and called for his resignation. But why should anyone call for his resignation when he is doing a bloody good job! 

If the demo party succeeds in removing the PM with their dirty tricks, feeble and childish reasoning then I am afraid that Tonga is heading for the status of banana republic. The people of Tonga do not deserve this at all.


Senolita Swan