25 Apr 2020

More friction revealed among Tonga's PTOA members

4:48 pm on 25 April 2020

More bitterness within the political party founded by the late 'Akilisi Pohiva has been reported in Tongan media.

Minister of Police Hon Mateni Tapueluelu presenting Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Gerry Brownlee with a gift on May 10th 2017.

Mateni Tapueluelu Photo: NZ High Commission, Nuku'alofa Tonga

The PTOA party, or Democratic Party, had been a dominant force in Tongan politics for some years but it slipped into opposition after the death of then Prime Minister Mr Pohiva last September.

The party deputy, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, linked with the nobles and gained the premiership, forcing the remains of PTOA out of power.

Kaniva Pacific quoted another party member Tu'i Uata, saying Mateni Tapueluelu, a son-in-law of Mr Pohiva, caused the fracture by his own push for power.

Earlier the website reported there had been a reconciliation and the party's MPs were back on friendly terms.

But Dr Uata said Mr Tapueluelu was pushing for the deputy prime minister position before Mr Pohiva's death and this upset Mr Tu'i'onetoa.

Dr Uata said the spirit of unity in the party disappeared when Mr Pohiva died.

Akilisi Pohiva - Tonga PM

Akilisi Pohiva - Tonga PM Photo: RNZ Koro Vaka'uta