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PM misuses Executive Power

Nuku'alofa, Tonga


I have in possession the latest “Hon. Prime Minister’s Letter to Acting Attorney General,” Mr. ‘Āminiasi Kefu, issued 13 Feb. 2015. It is the latest in a series of fallacious and self-righteous claims made by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva.

In all seriousness, this is an egregious misuse of Executive power, breaching the “separation of powers” in our Constitution, “three branches of government” model. The Constitution was written in simple language for people like you and me to understand our rights protected by the “three branches of government” model. We are able to watch out for tyrannical politicians who are trying to expand their personal “de facto” authority in government to usurp power illegally.

 Since its inception, the 1875 Constitution grants the independence of each branch of government (Executive, the Legislative, and the Judiciary) separation of powers to protect their independence from each other: (a) “Checks and balances” are a preventive tool to prevent one branch from exerting control or influence on the other branches; (b) it also means they should respect each other’s autonomy; (c) that there are limits to each branch’s powers − avoiding one branch from collecting all ruling powers to itself in a dictatorship.

PM’s Lack-of Integrity is the Problem

 Prime Minister Pōhiva seems still on campaigning mode. He is unaware of his fiduciary duties as the stewardship of upholding the integrity of the Executive Branch, the office of Prime Minister. This stewardship includes respecting the integrity of the other two branches in government, thus keeping his nose out of their business.

The Prime Minister scolds Acting Attorney General Kefu accusing him of having “poor integrity.” Mr. ‘Akilisi Pōhiva is not in a position to judge others on moral grounds: “pro-democrat” cronies burnt Nuku‘alofa in 2006; eight (8) people died; hundreds served jail time, and forced government to take out multi-million-dollar loans to rebuild our capital.    

(Grammar notes: The letter lambasts Mr. Kefu’s “poor integrity…” This is incorrect English grammar; integrity is an un-countable noun, therefore the correct determiner is “lack-of integrity.” There are no ranks of integrity; one either has integrity or no integrity; there are no poor, low, medium, or higher levels of integrity.)

By crossing over with undue Executive pressure − ostensibly to critique − but it’s public ridicule and undue public consternation of the Judiciary. I see this latest fiasco as an invitation for possible Vote of No-Confidence, and even to be considered an impeachable offense.  

The Executive Branch (PMO and Cabinet) must not cross the line drawn by the Constitution on the “separation of powers” of the three branches of government. The integrity of the “separation of powers” prevents the Executive Branch from being granted too much power to create a “tyrant.”

Sione A. Mokofisi
Director: English, Journalism & Languages
Tonga International Academy
Nuku’alofa, Tonga


Ko e me'a tatau 'eni 'oku lolotonga hoko 'i he pule'anga 'Amelika 'i he taimini. Ko e fakafekiki 'a e ngaaahi va'a lalahi 'oku nau fakalele 'a e pule'anga, palesiteni (temokalati), ongo falealea (Republic), pea mo e tafa'aki 'a e fakamaau'anga, pe kohai 'oku tonu 'o fakatatau ki he ngaahi tu'utu'uni 'a e palesiteni ki hono fakalele 'a e fonua. Te u fakatata'aki 'a e lao 'immigration' 'a 'Amelika ni. Kuo tu'utu'uni 'ehe palesiteni, 'i hono mafai faka-palesiteni ke 'oua na'a 'deport' 'a e kau 'illegal aliens 'e 5 miliona na'e humai meihe 'border' ki Mexico. Ko e toki hoko 'eni ha fa'ahinga tu'utu'uni (executive power) peheni talu e tu'u 'a e pule'anga 'Amelika. 'Oku pehe 'ehe ongo falealea 'oku ta'e fakalao 'a e tu'utu'uni ko'eni 'a e palesiteni, koe'uhi na'e totonu ke fakahu mai 'ene tu'utu'uni 'i he ongo falealea ke fai hano alea'i. 'Oku poupou foki ha fakamaau'anga ma'olunga ia mei Texas 'o ta'ofi 'a e tu'utu'uni ko'eni 'a e palesiteni kae vakai'i 'a hono mo'oni fakalao. 'I he lolotonga ni 'oku takitaha ta pe 'ehe faha'i pe kohai 'e le'o lahi taha 'ene fafangu. Koia pe 'e le'o lahi taha 'ene fafangu ('uhinga fakalao), koia pe 'e uini pea mau fai 'aki pe ia. Ko e anga ia 'a e 'uhinga 'o e 'Democracy'. 'Oku 'ikai ko e fai hake pe ha ki'i tu'utu'uni 'a e palesiteni, pea mau vave ki he 'misuses of executive power, vote of no-confidence, impeachable offense, tyrant etc'. Fu'u ta'e fakalotu ia....SAIA

From what I understand Tonga has a Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy form of government. A Parliamentary style of government, the executive and legislative rest in Parliament thus the reason why Prime Ministers are in Parliament. In order to form a government, one should form a coalition or win majority seats in Parliament to form executive branch within Parliament. The United States is different. They have their own system which is three branches and the separation of powers with check and balances to insure that one branch won't get too powerful. Mr. Kefu, the Acting Attorney General, his job is to represent and to prosecute on behalf of the crown, represent the office of the Prime Minister, not the Prime Minister himself. The Judicial Branch consists of the Supreme Court of Tonga, the highest court in the land. And as far as I am concerned, most of these Justices consists of foreigners. Anyways, the role of the Executive Branch is to execute and enforce laws in Tonga. The Attorney General belongs to the Ministry of Justice, which their main role is prosecute on behalf of the Government of Tonga. The Judiciary Branch is an independent Branch of our Government, which interprets the laws of Tonga by deciding on court cases. If the Attorney General wants to investigate Prime Minister Pohiva, why not, because it's his job to investigate and bring arguments to the Supreme Court for a ruling (if there are any) on suspicions of illega activities with in his office.

Ko e DA pe (Top Cop) 'a e Pule'anga 'Amelika 'oku fili pe ia 'e he palesiteni koe'uhi ke poupou'i 'ene ngaahi kaveinga ngaue. Kuou tui ko e fehalaaki ia 'a e pule'anga fo'ou 'i Tonga ko e 'ikai ke nau vakai'i 'a e DA 'a Tonga pe koe fe 'a e tafa'aki 'oku ne poupou'i. He 'ikai ke lava 'e he palemia/palesiteni 'o fakahoko 'ene ngaahi kaveinga ngaue kapau koe DA (Top cop) ia mo hono 'office' 'oku nau poupou'i 'enautolu ha tafa'aki kehe, 'Oku taha pe 'a e lao, ka 'oku lanu kehekehe 'a hono fakahoko 'e he kau fakamaau, DA, pea mo e kau loea etc, Kapau ko e kau fakamaau 'i 'Amelika ni 'oku nau kau ki he temokalati, pea 'oku fai pe 'enau ngaahi tu'utu'uni ki he 'favour' 'a e temokalati, kapau ko e fakamaau 'Republic' 'e tu'utu'uni pe ia ki he 'favour' 'a e 'Republic'. Ko e fakamaau pe taha 'oku tonu 'i mamani mo hevani ko e fakamaau 'a Sihova. 'Oku fu'u ngalivale ki he pule'anga fo'ou 'o Tonga 'enau feinga ke fakahoko 'enau kaveinga ngaue, kae hoko 'a e 'DA' ia koha makatukia'anga ki he'enau ngaahi fokotu'utu'u. 'Oku totonu ko e 'DA' kene poupou'i 'a e kaveinga ngaue 'ae pule'anga ,kapau he 'ikai pea tuku kinautolu ki tu'a ,he 'oku fele 'ae kakai paasi lao 'i Tonga tenau ngaue fakataha moe pule'anga. Ko e me'a faikehe ia ke 'represent the office of the Prime Minister, not the Prime Minister'. Kapau he 'ikai fakalelei'i, pe ngaue fakataha 'a e DA mo e pule'anga fo'ou 'e hoko ia ko e makatukia'anga ki he ngaahi kaveinga ngaue 'a e pule'anga ....... SAIA.