Pohiva responses to Lord Ma’afutukui’aulahi’s statement circulated online
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 08/03/2018
The Hon Prime Minister, ‘Akilisi Pohiva yesterday said that he regretted that Lord Ma’afutukui’aulahi’s statement to the staff of the Ministry of Lands had been circulated via social media because he believes the statement was not meant to be circulated. But the Prime Minister acknowledged that was the harsh reality of today’s globalized world so everyone must be prepared to deal with it.
In the statement from the Prime Minister’s office, the former Minister brought up two issues which he alleged were the reasons behind the Hon Prime Minister’s displeasure with him.
First, he alleged that Cabinet had discussed in its meeting on Friday, March 2th , a submission that recommended that the Cabinet approve the application by the Solicitor General to the Supreme Court for the judicial review of His Majesty’s prerogative to assent to or veto a piece of legislation that had already been adopted by the Legislative Assembly.
He also said that the Hon Prime Minister did not wanted him to attend the Cabinet meeting on Friday March 2nd because his presence could lead to a dispute.
The second issue, he alleged that the Prime Minister had wrongly accused him of having signed a Regulation that authorized Life Peers to register as candidates in the election of Noble’s representatives to the Legislative Assembly, whilst the Hon Prime Minister was on an official trip overseas.
Information from the PM’s office said, Lord Ma’afutukui’aulahi came up with the “Electoral (Election of Representatives of the Nobles) Regulations 2017”, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 9B of the Electoral Act 1989. This Regulation authorized Life Peers to be candidates in the upcoming elections for Nobles’ Representatives to the Legislative Assembly in November 2017.
They also said that Lord Ma’afutukui’aulahi drafted this Electoral Regulations without informing the rest of the members of Cabinet, the rest of members of the Nobles of the Realm, or the Office of the Supervisor of Elections, or the Attorney General’s Office.
However, since he became part of the Cabinet Ministers, he was bored because their main problem is “hungry for power”.
Pohiva said, the aim of the Cabinet Submission was to seek a judicial review of the right of the Privy Council to approve or disapprove a piece of legislation that had already been adopted by the Legislative Assembly. The Constitution does not give any authority to the Privy Council to approve or disapprove a piece of legislation that had been adopted by the Assembly.
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