22 Mar 2019

Tonga acting speaker safe from impeachment - Lord Fusitu'a

2:09 pm on 22 March 2019

A Tonga noble MP says the acting speaker was well within his rights to allow consultation over controversial government legislation.

Noble representative, Lord Fusitu'a.

Lord Fusitu'a Photo: RNZI

In parliament this week the government threatened to impeach Lord Tu'ilakepa when he directed six bills the government has deemed urgent to the House Standing Committee on Legislation.

Such a move will delay the legislation for several months but Lord Fusitu'a says he believes Tu'ilakepa is legally able to do this.

The bills aim to give the government control over key appointments and to diminish the role of the Privy Council, but Fusitu'a says the government's efforts to make the public aware of the contents didn't meet the threshold, prompting the acting speaker's move.

"He's handed it over to the legislation committee to review the legislation and to put it to consultation - a proper consultation with the public for a minimum of two weeks and not be a talk back phone call over radio over two nights, which consisted of 49 callers out of 50,000 registered voters."

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