Dr Uata claims Tapueluelu’s craving for Deputy premiership caused Party to lose gov’t; Movement calls for transparency on Leader Sika’s forgiveness decision

Fakalalahi e fetukuaki he PTOA ka 'oku e'a mai ta ko e 'uhinga e tō 'a e pule'anga' hili pekia 'a 'Akilisi Pōhiva ta ne 'i ai 'uakai mafai 'i he loto'i Pāti' 'o tukuaki'i 'eni kia Māteni Tapueluelu pea tukuaki'i 'e Tapueluelu 'a Tu'i Uata mo Siaosi Pōhiva. Taimi tatau, 'ikai fiemālie uma ngāue 'o e PTOA 'oku 'iloa ko e Movement mo hono kau poupou ki he founga 'ata-ki-tu'a 'a e Core Team mo e anga hono ohi 'e he Sea' Semisi Sika 'a e 'īsiu ko eni kuo iku fetukuaki ai 'a Tapueluelu, Siaosi Pōhiva mo Tu'i Uata' mo e fiema'u ke tuku 'a Tapueluelu ki tu'a mei he Pāti' Kuo fakahā he uike' ni kuo fakamolemole'i 'a Tapueluelu ka 'oku 'ikai tala mai 'a e 'uhinga mo e ngahai laaulea 'i he'enau fakataha; ke 'ilo ki ai e kau poupou'.

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Claims and counterclaims continue to fly over allegations about who was responsible for the PTOA losing power and assertions that the wrong advice was given to the late Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva.

Former Cabinet  Minister Dr Tu’i Uata has alleged that MP Mateni Tapueluelu hungered to become Deputy Prime Minister before the 2019 premiership election, even though the Party decided that that position must be given to Dr Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa, the current Prime Minister.

Dr Uata claimed Tapueluelu’s persistence had enraged Dr Tu’i’onetoa who was already satisfied with being nominated as Deputy Prime Minister.

He claimed  Hon. Tu’i’onetoa advised them in a meeting to stand together to make sure they won the next premiership election to fulfill their late leader ‘Akilisi Pōhiva’s four-year term.

Dr Uata claimed the spirit of unity the party had in their first meeting after ‘Akilisi died turned sour after Hon. Tapueluelu made a speech during their second meeting.

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Dr Uata also claimed Dr Tu’i’onetoa scolded Hon Tapueluelu during that meeting, accusing him of being bad-mouthed and two-faced [“tamasi’i hūhūkia mo ngutu mālie.”]

Dr Tu’i’onetoa finally left the Party before he reportedly approached by the Nobles to form the People’s Party, for which he won the Premiership.

Dr Uata alleged a last-ditch effort to bring back Hon Tu’i’onetoa to the Party before the premiership election failed because Hon Tapueluelu refused to join them in a meeting planned to be held with Hon Tu’i’onetoa.

Hon Tapueluelu claims / Dr Tu’i Uata denial

Dr Uata was responding to an allegation by Hon. Tapueluelu in a leaked letter seen by  Kaniva News. The letter named him as one of a number of people alleged to have engaged with MP Siaosi Pōhiva in a power struggle and giving wrong advice to Prime Minister ‘Akilisi.

Dr Uata was nominated from outside Parliament by Prime Minister ‘Akilisi as  Minister of Trade and Economic Development.  Hon. Tupueluelu alleged in the leaked letter that the nomination of Dr Uata did not conform to the Party’s manifesto. He also alleged Dr Uata felt uncertain about whether he would keep his office if the Prime Minister died.

Hon. Tapueluelu alleged that because of this, Dr Uata and others advised against ‘Akilisi’s plan to resign with dignity five months before he died in September 2019.

Hon. Tapueluelu claimed this was why the Party lost the government after ‘Akilisi’s death.

Hon. Tu’i Uata denied this and claimed Hon. Tapueluelu told him during a meeting also attended by PTOA frontliner Paula Piveni Piukala, that ‘Akilisi has nominated Former Deputy Sēmisi Sika to be the next Prime Minister and Tapueluelu to be the Deputy Prime Minister.

Dr Uata’s response was livestreamed last week and shared to some of the PTOA movement’s Facebook pages and other news sharing groups. The share by Ngaluope group, which has more than 60,000 followers seen by Kaniva News garnered about 93,000 views, received 3,700 reactions, 223 comments and 416 shares.

Movement calls for transparency

Meanwhile the Party’s movements and overseas supporters have called on Party Leader Sika to be open about what discussion and arguments the Party’s core team had and the ground for forgiving Hon. Tapueluelu on their Monday’s meeting.

There has been a public online outcry over Leader Sika’s handling of the situation after he announced on Monday in a statement that the core team had decided to  forgive Hon. Tapueluelu. No further details were given.

The Movement’s Facebook Livestream broadcaster, ‘Asiata Masima, who interviewed Dr Uata told Kaniva News the core team’s decision was not transparent.

He said the core team now was worthless.

United States PTOA Movement frontliner Sharon Mina Sekona said Hon. Tapueluelu had “courted” the core team members.

Meanwhile, support for Hon. Tapueluelu has been strong with many saying  they would still vote for him.

Ngalo’afe ‘Ulupano, a strong supporter of Tapueluelu from Tongatapu 4 said if the Core Team had dismissed Tapueluelu his constituency would still have voted him in.

Leader Sika, Tapueluelu and Siaosi Pōhiva had been contacted for comment.

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