8 Jan 2014

Tonga finance minister defies resignation request

7:05 pm on 8 January 2014

Tonga's finance minister, Lisiate 'Akolo, has defied the prime minister's request to resign.

A cabinet meeting has been held for the prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, to hear his colleagues' views on Mr 'Akolo's performance amid apparent disagreement over proposed public sector pay hikes.

The justice minister, Clive Edwards, says the positions remain the same.

"That request, invitation to resign has not been withdrawn; secondly, there has been no letter of resignation."

Clive Edwards says it is in the powers of the prime minister to sack Mr 'Akolo.

He says he expects the matter to be resolved before the end of the week.