10 Jan 2014

Sacked Tonga minister baffled by cabinet move

6:46 pm on 10 January 2014

Tonga's sacked finance minister, Lisiate 'Akolo, says he doesn't understand why he was dismissed because he didn't violate any cabinet decision.

Mr 'Akolo lost his job after he rejected a call to resign by Wednesday by the prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, who said he was dissatisfied with the minister's performance.

Differences reportedly arose over whether the government could afford public sector pay rises.

Mr 'Akolo has told Radio Tonga that in his written reply to the prime minister he warned of the risk of having a dictatorship like Cuba.

He says Tonga is moving to be more democratic country and everyone must be given the right to reply to allegations.

Security staff had stopped Mr 'Akolo from attending Wednesday's special cabinet meeting to discuss his stance.