Tongan PM stalls delivery of Auditor-General’s report

Tonga Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva. Picture: RNZ

NUKU’ALOFA, 30 OCTOBER 2018 (KANIVA TONGA NEWS) —Tonga’s Prime Minister has stalled efforts to present an Auditor-General’s report to parliament, insisting a response to an impeachment petition be heard first.

Matangi Tonga reports ‘Akilisi Pohiva obstructed the presentation of the 12 page report on Monday.

The Prime Minister insisted that a response by himself and six other Cabinet Ministers to a petition for their impeachment, should be read first.

The Auditor’s report was requested under the over 3,000 signature-strong petition, claiming that the Prime Minister and his ministers had executed bad governance, and abused and misused government properties and taxpayers’ money.

The petition had been under the scrutiny of the House’s Standing Committee on Privileges before it was tabled, with the chairman claiming there had been no response earlier from the Prime Minister or his cabinet to questions related to the document.

It is now likely that the petition to impeach Mr Pohiva and six Cabinet Ministers will be deferred until parliament resumes at the end of May 2019, with Parliament expected to close on Wednesday.