Gov’t says King’s decision contravened  Constitution; warning of potential crisis

The King’s decision to revoke two Cabinet appointments contravene Clause 51 (3)(a) of the Constitution, according to the government.

Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku. Photo/Screenshot (Radio FM87.5)

A former Attorney General says if the issue is not resolved Tonga could face a constitutional crisis.

The government has confirmed that it received a letter from the Lord Privy Seal revoking King Tupou VI’s approval of two Cabinet appointments.

The King withdrew his appointment of Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku as the Minister for His Majesty’s Armed Forces and Hon. Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and as the Minister for Tourism.

In a statement issued this morning, the government said Cabinet had sought advice from the Attorney General on His Majesty’s decision.

The government said the Attorney General’s legal advice was consistent with all past advice on the same issue, sent from the Attorney General’s Office to the Palace Office.

Cabinet has agreed to send a letter addressing the statement about the appointment  and the legal advice to the Private Secretary of His Majesty.

The Prime Minister, who is believed to be in New Zealand, has expressed his confidence in Hon. ‘Utoikamanu.

Former Attorney General Aminiasi Kefu said the King could only remove a minister on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. He said it was up to the Prime Minister to decide what to do.

He told Radio New Zealand that if the PM and King failed to agree then the country would face a constitutional stalemate.

The government has directed questions about the Privy Council decision to the Palace Office.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news