King holds audience with PM discussing issues put forward by PM
Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 02/01/2020
His Majesty did not approve the PM’s proposal to become a member of His Privy Council.
The Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa says, he had an audience with His Majesty in New Zealand on the 16th of last month and he raised three main issues with him.
The first proposal was to become a member of the Privy Council, as an opportunity for the Prime Minister to discuss with members of the Privy Council key issues about the Government and especially bills from Cabinet.
Members of the Privy Council are to advise the Monarch and according to the Constitution the King shall appoint a Privy Council to provide him with advice.
However, the Prime Minister said, His Majesty told him that as the Head of the State, he meets at least once a month with the Prime Minister, who’s the Head of Government and they are the only people discussing issues about the Government and such meeting is the opportunity for him to raise certain issues with His Majesty.
Hon. Prime Minister said after informative explanation from His Majesty, he accepts that he won’t be a member of the King’s Privy Council.
The second issue raised by the Prime Minister during His Audience with His King last month, was for the Police Commissioner to be accountable to the Minister of Police instead of the King.
His Majesty, informed the Prime Minister on the significance of the separation of powers and he said that Police Commissioner should be independent at all times and shouldn’t be politically influenced on decision making
The Prime Minister, said after a protest against him last month in New Zealand, he then fully understands the significance for the Police Commissioner to be independent at all times.
The last issue raised by the Prime Minister was PACER PLUS and his Majesty has agreed for Tonga to ratify the agreement this year, after the PM clarified the trade agreement and its benefits for Tonga in the trade sector.
Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa made the statement during an interview about the Government’s operations since his appointment as the Head of Government.
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