14 Oct 2016

Tongan noble calls for anti-corruption action

9:51 am on 14 October 2016

A noble MP has called on Tonga's government to stop delaying the appointment of the country's first Anti-Corruption commissioner.

Earlier this month Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva reportedly rejected the Privy Council's candidate for the position despite the law dictating that the royal body make the appointment.

Tonga's Anti-Corruption Commission was formed in 2008 after appropriate legislation was passed in September 2007, but there have been ongoing procedural matters delaying the implementation of the office.

Tongan noble MP, Lord Fusitu'a

Tongan noble MP, Lord Fusitu'a Photo: twitter

The government has made a submission to parliament that the House take on the appointment process.

Lord Fusitu'a chairs the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Anti-corruption.

He said the appointment needs to be done urgently.

"The institutions are already in place. The structures, legislatively anyway, are already in place," Lord Fusitu'a said.

"So it is just a matter of having the political will to go forward and get it done.

"So I would encourage the Executive to do so and if they are to bring these proposed amendments forward, provided that it maintains the independence and transparency of the office, it is something we can look at, but the ideal model for me would be the current legislation," he said.

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