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Tongan journalist says democracy not working in Tonga

25 August 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

A veteran journalist in Tonga says the Prime Minister's dismissal is evidence that democracy isn't working in Tonga.

King Tupou VI officially dissolved parliament this afternoon, dismissing Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva and requesting an election be held before November 16. 

'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo/ Tagata Pasifika.

Journalist Kalafi Moala says issues with the government have been building up to this moment and the call was highly anticipated.

"There have been issues from [goverment] reports, breaking the law and responsibility violations," he says. "This is no surprise to me, it was going to happen sooner than later." 

Pohiva was the first commoner to be elected as Prime Minister in 2014.

Moala says it's clear that the democracy Tonga wanted, hasn't been working.

"It's almost been three years with this government and the democracy that we're supposed to have, it hasn't worked," he says. "Press freedom is worse now than ever before. Law and order has been worse and there have been allegations of the law been broken by government departments and things being done in secret. Democracy is supposed to work but it has not worked."

Moala believes it's an issue of administration and governance rather than democracy.

Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva was due to attend the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and Related meeting in Samoa next month.

Tags: Tonga,