31 Aug 2017

Tonga's Pohiva at odds with AG over PACER-Plus

5:52 pm on 31 August 2017

The process for Tonga's signing of the regional trade agreement PACER Plus is under the spotlight with the caretaker government and the Attorney-General disagreeing over whether it was valid.

Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZI/Alex Perrottet

The signing of the agreement without the King's approval was cited as one of the reasons for the royal dissolution of parliament last week.

Interim Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva said the government did not do anything wrong by simply signing the agreement

"His Majesty is always there to ratify. We are still in the process of discussing, give and take our opinion on that issue. That might go on for a period of time and eventually when we feel the process is complete, then we inform His Majesty."

'Akilisi Pohiva said PACER Plus was signed to spur development and trade.

But the Attorney-General told Matangi Tonga that the king must approve an agreement whether it is signed or ratified.