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King has executive authority over Government.

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Dear Editor,

The PM and his Cabinet should remember the uniqueness of our kind of democracy. Ours is not like the British democracy where the King has no executive power. Ours is a democracy under Constitutional monarchy. The King has the ultimate executive authority over the Government. He can dissolve Parliament if it deems necessary as he has done with 'Akilisi's government back then. Our Constitution, and especially Clause 51 retains the King's authority over Cabinet by giving him authority to endorse and to revoke the appointments of Cabinet ministers. So, it will be good for the current administration not to resist the authority of the King in this matter for they may be charged with high treason.

The two portfolios the King is revoking both constitutionally belong under the King's executive power. He is the Chief of Staff of our Armed Forces and he is still according to Clause 39 of our Constitution entitled to authorise our foreign policies. What the PM could do if his Cabinet insists in retaining Fekitamoeloa 'Utoikamanu is to give her another portfolio and the PM could of course still retain his Education portfolio. They must learn to work together with the King in running the affairs of our country and not against him since the King as the Constitutional monarchy of Tonga holds the ultimate executive authority over government. And this Constitutional power of the King is meant to act as check and balances for our political system since we do not have a legal opposition party in Parliament.

The advice of our old Tongan proverb is appropriate in this situation: 'Oua e teke'i 'a Lei mei hono fu'u mei.

Faka'apa'apa atu,
Rev Dr Ma'afu Palu

See also:

Tonga’s foreign policy requires King’s approval