13 Sep 2017

Tonga's Sovaleni flummoxed about sacking

7:44 am on 13 September 2017

Tonga's former deputy prime minister has denied ever trying to undermine the government.

Siaosi Sovaleni was sacked by Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva last week, along with finance minister Tevita Lavema'au.

No formal reason has been given, but there have been reports the pair had been supportive of the Speaker of Parliament's decision to ask the King to dissolve parliament, which he did.

But Matangi Tonga reports Mr Sovaleni, in a brief statement, saying he accepted the decision, but always supported the leadership of the Prime Minister and cabinet.

He did not say whether he intends to run for the election, scheduled for 16 November.

Tongan MP Siaosi Sovaleni

Tongan MP Siaosi Sovaleni Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta