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Legislative Assembly continue normal business for next two weeks

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 14/03/2019

The Legislative Assembly will continue normal business for the next two weeks and ends on March 27 before the scheduled soft closing ceremony on March 28.

The stalemate in the house over the bills and amendments to the constitution submitted by government has seen no breakthrough.

Before the house resumed this morning, the nobles’ representatives met the Prime Minister in their effort to try and reach agreement on the issue as they demand a proper public consultation over the constitutional amendment.

However, the Prime Minister, Hon Akilisi Pohiva told parliament, the government maintains its stance that there will be no more public consultation.

The nobles’ representatives interpret a public consultation is going out to constituencies and having face to face dialogue with people.

The Prime Minister told the house the result of its public consultation will be submitted to the house, sometimes today and that he believes their method is legal and according to the rules and regulations of the house.

However, Nobles representatives believe this is not a proper format of public consultation and less than 50 voices do not represent the major portion of the population.

Vava’u 15 proposed that the House approach His Majesty for an extension of the closing date to enable a public consultation in the format requested by the nobles’ representatives.

Samiu Vaipulu told the house that this was with the intention that when the bills are resubmitted to the house today, discussions will follow and hopefully a public consultation could be held within the next two weeks, to the satisfaction of everyone concerned.

However, motions to call for votes ended with the approval of the Prime Minister’s motion for the house to officially close on March 28 and that parliament will continue normal deliberation during the next two weeks to complete all government matters that requires parliament’s approval.

Discussions then continued on the revenue collection and consumption tax bills 2019 at the whole house committee.

© Radio and Television Tonga News