4 Aug 2011

Tonga government yet to comment after criticism from King

3:26 pm on 4 August 2011

Tonga's prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, will meet with King George Tupou the 5th tomorrow morning to discuss the monarch's concerns that the government has acted illegally in removing the police commissioner.

A spokesperson in the prime minister's office says no comment will be made before then.

This comes after the Matangi Tonga website reported the Lord Privy Seal, Vainga Tone, saying cabinet acted outside the law in not renewing the contract of New Zealander, Chris Kelley.

Mr Tone in a statement said decisions on the police commissioner's appointment, under the Police Act, are to be made by the King with his Privy Council, not the government.

The police minister has indicated the government intends changing the Police Act to remove this right from the Privy Council.

But Mr Tone says no ministers had sought an audience on the issues so there are no grounds for passing new legislation to amend the Police Act.

Mr Kelley meanwhile is due to finish up tomorrow and leave Tonga on Saturday.