16 Sep 2016

Tonga's PM still feels he has numbers despite sacking

6:23 am on 16 September 2016

The Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva says he is not worried about losing the support of his former Minister of Internal Affairs, who was sacked this week.

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga's Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

Mr Pohiva requested that the King revoke Fe'ao Vakata's cabinet appointment because of unacceptable conduct.

The Prime Minister said he had to discipline Mr Vakata after a complaint was laid against him for throwing a wine glass at a senior civil servant.

Mr Pohiva said the former minister will have no role to play in government and is now simply a representative of his Niuas constituency.

The Government has been under the shadow of a proposed vote of no-confidence for the past month but Mr Pohiva said he was not worried about losing support because of Vakata's dismissal.

"That is not my concern. My role as Prime Minister is to ensure that our conduct, as ministers, will not damage the image and the integrity of Cabinet and also the integrity of His Majesty's government."

"The issue of the vote of no confidence is a different issue. He still has his right to do what he feels or what is the most appropriate thing for him to do," he said.

'Akilisi Pohiva said he feels he still has the support of his Cabinet and the people of Tonga.

Tonga Internal Affairs Minister, Fe'ao Vakata.

Tonga Internal Affairs Minister, Fe'ao Vakata. Photo: kaniva pacific

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