20 Mar 2019

Tonga prime minister told to seek proper advice

9:52 am on 20 March 2019

A political analyst says the parliamentary impasse in Tonga is serious and the government should bring in advisors to help the prime minister.

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta

There have been a series of walk outs from parliament over the past week as the government tries to push through six bills under urgency.

The opposition, mostly made up of nobles, has asked Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva to explain why the bills are urgent.

This comes after a series of petitions to King Tupou VI calling for Mr Pohiva to be removed, and Massey University's Malakai Koloamatangi, himself a Tongan, says it is a very serious situation for the country.

"Particularly when there are these serious issues and parliament looks to be in deadlock and you have issues with crime, all sorts of problems. And this is of course layered on top of what you have in parliament and government.

"So this is really, really bad. I think the prime minister should seriously to getting proper advice and to getting people around him who can actually offer him that advice."

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