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Government withdraws bills submitted to Parliament by previous government

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 22/06/2020

Government has withdrawn a submission of six bills to Parliament made by the previous government.

In a letter from the Prime Minister to the Speaker of Parliament read in the House this morning, Prime Minister – Dr. Pohiva Tui’onetoa stated that Cabinet had approved in January for government to discontinue working on the amendments to the Constitution, as submitted by the previous government in these bills last year.

The Prime Minister says cabinet believes the powers of His Majesty and the Nobles should not be touched as proposed in the bills submitted in 2019.

Tu’i’onetoa requested the issue be removed from the House’s agenda as the government is no longer in agreement with the bills.

Lord Fakafanua, the Speaker of Parliament accepted this request.

The six bills were one of the strongly advocated for them to be passed, and even Parliament held various consultations on the bills in the outer islands and constituencies in Tongatapu.

The previous government strongly believed that the bills would amend the constitution but would have no change to the Constitutional Powers of His Majesty and the Nobles. The Nobles MP’s in Parliament had disagreed and strongly opposed these bills.

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