Pacific radio news

Tonga PM fires Minister for Internal Affairs

By Mabel Muller - mabel.muller@pmn.co.nz

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva has fired the Minister for Internal Affairs, after she refused to resign at his request.

'Akosita Lavulavu. Photo/ Daniela Maoate-Cox.

Pohiva held a press conference this morning where he read out a letter addressed to 'Akosita Lavulavu, who holds the Internal Affairs portfolio and is one of only two women MPs in Tonga.

"As you and I have already discussed, Government has an obligation to adhere to the most exciting standards of integrity, where I have requested that you consider tendering your letter of resignation," says Pohiva. 

"Since you have not followed my advice, we cannot in good faith exceed to your continuity as a member of Cabinet."

Pohiva reportedly met with Lavulavu three times to discuss his wishes for her to step down.

He says his request is due to the charges laid against Lavulavu and her husband 'Etuate last month.

Pohiva took the matter to King Tupou VI requesting to revoke Lavulavu's ministerial appointment.

He says if 'Akosita Lavulavu is innocent after the court proceedings, she can retain her ministerial position.

'Akosita Lavulavu was re-elected the MP for Vava'u 16 in last year's snap election.

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