17 May 2016

Sport: Pacific Games Council backs Tonga after clear the air talks

1:55 pm on 17 May 2016

The Pacific Games Council is confident Tonga can deliver a successful Pacific Games in 2019 after talks to resolve concerns about political infighting in the Kingdom.

Tonga's preparations have been plagued with administration and financing issues.

In December, the Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva initially demanded Lord Sevele's resignation as chair of the 2019 Games' Organising Committee, over alleged failings and delays in preparation.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ

Last month he issued a letter recommending Sevele's contract be terminated.

Lord Sevele, formerly Fred, (Feleti) Sevele.  Former PM of Tonga.

Lord Sevele. Photo: wikicommons

The President of the Games Council Vidhya Lakhan said if the proposal to went ahead, the Council would start looking at termination clauses within Tonga's host country agreement.

Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai and Pacific Games Council President Vidhya Lakhan at the PGC General Assembly.

President of the Games Council Vidhya Lakhan Photo: ONOC

Following talks during the Council's General Assembly in Port Vila last week, Mr Lakhan said the matter has been resolved.

"The bureaucrats and the government now fully realise what their commitments are and that they have to honour and deliver on those commitments under the Games' Host Contract and that in the organisation and the delivery of the Games they have to comply with our constitution, statutes, protocols, regulations and all that."

Vidhya Lakhan said the Council was reasonably happy with the progress report received from Tongan officials last week.