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Parts of the Prime Minister’s response to the Motion of vote of no confidence against him must be removed

 Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 23/02/2017

Parts of the Prime Minister’s response to the Motion of a vote of no confidence against him must be removed because it is accusing others which were not part of the motion for a vote of confidence.

This comes after the Legislative Assembly’s Privilege Committee informed the Prime Minister that parts of his response provided in Number 6 and 9 should be removed – but he did not agree to it.

Therefore the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly – Lord Tu’ivakano then informed the Standing Committee if the Prime Minister refuses, then his response will not be tabled in the House.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly – Lord Tu’ivakano told MP’S this afternoon that according to the Standing orders, the Prime Minister has no right to provide a response but because they respect him, he was given an opportunity to provide a response.

The Prime Minister told parliament there must be a response to every allegations made, and he refused to take out the part he was asked to omit.

The Chairman of the Legislative Assembly’s Privilege Committee – Lord Tu’iha’angana clarified that Clause 170 stipulates that every allegation made by a Member of the House to a member of the Public who is not a Parliamentarian, must be given an opportunity to respond.

The PM argued that names of people were provided and read out in Parliament in the Motion for a vote of no confidence, but why isn’t he given the same opportunity.

Lord Tu’iha’angana then said, this is TRUE – but the names provided were not accused of anything – even though their names were read out in Parliament but the accusation was only based on the Prime Minister himself.

Lord Tu’iha’angana added that the Government’s response – is accusing others that have nothing to do with the motion for a vote of no confidence.

The MP’s then agreed to take out part of the response in Numbers 6 and 9.

The house then closed for the day, but Parliament deliberations will continue at 10 tomorrow morning for the Prime Minister’s response to be read in Parliament, before casting their votes on the motion next Monday.

© Radio and Television Tonga News