Democratic Party meets at Kolonga despite warning from Lord Nuku

Tonga’s Democratic Party met with constituents of Tongtapu 10 at Kolonga despite being issued with words of prohibition notice on September 20 by the estate holder, Lord Nuku.

Leader ʻAkilisi Pōhiva told Dr Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, the Party’s candidate for Tongatapu 10 they would meet in Kolonga after Tuʻiʻonetoa relayed to him the message.

The meeting was held and Nuku’s prohibition notice was not enforced.

It was one of the meetings organized by the Party to hold at various constituencies to give supports for their candidates before the November general election.

In an interview with Kaniva News in Tongan, Lord Nuku said after he heard from a radio announcement that the Party has organised a meeting at his estate he contacted Tuʻiʻonetoa and told him he just wanted him to come and meet with the people of Kolonga without the Party

Asked to give the reason why he stopped the Party from meeting in his estate, Nuku said it was because he believed the Party’s agendas would divide his people.

L-R: Leader ʻAkilisi Pōhiva and Lord Nuku
L-R: Leader ʻAkilisi Pōhiva and Lord Nuku

He said he wanted to leave his people to decide for their own in political matters.

Asked whether he believes it was lawful and constitutional for the people to meet and discuss matters of common interest Nuku said he believes the Party should not be supported as Tongan system of government has no party system.

The minister of Police, Hon Siosifa Tuʻutafaiva said police has no power to stop any such meeting or enforce any such prohibition notice given by nobles.

Tuʻutafaiva referred to the Tongan constitution clause 8 which says that people can, “meet and consult concerning matters…provided that they meet peaceably without arms and without disorder”.

When asked what Police would do if Nuku arrived at the meeting and stop them Tuʻutafaiva said what he understood was that the owner of the place where the meeting was conducted in the village should ask the noble to leave.

He has no right to stop the meeting in his house or church building or community hall.

Kolonga was ‘Akilisi’s stronghold and he reminded people who attended the meeting that he was always voted number one in Kolonga before the vote system was changed in 2010.

He also told the audience he is Kolongan through his great grandparent, Nuku Moimoi Angahā.

The meeting was organized by one of Nuku’s uncles, Sione Finefeuiaki also known as Sione Peni.

Kolonga’s town officer was at the meeting and he was reportedly welcomed the Party.

Lord Nuku is one of the 33 nobles of the realm and he was one of the nobles that become a fierce opponent of ʻAkilisi and his colleague in Parliament.

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