TONGAN LAWMAKERS QUIZ PRINCE ON DISMISSALS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Sept. 10) – Tonga’s Prime Minister, Prince ’Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, has been further queried about the reasons behind the recent dismissal of three cabinet ministers.

During the Legislative Assembly’s question and answer session yesterday, Vava’u representative ’Etuate Lavulavu asked the Prime Minister why the ministers of justice, police and commerce were forced to resign last month.

In his response, Prince ’Ulukalala Lavaka Ata told the House that the three ministers were dismissed on the grounds that they had different beliefs and opinions on decisions made by Cabinet and the Privy Council.

However, the Prime Minister didn’t elaborate further.

But he referred the members to answers he gave during an interview on Tongan Television earlier this week.

The Prime Minister was asked on the interview whether there was any connection in the dismissal of the ministers with the government’s domestic airline policy or the recent demise of the national airlines.

He responded by saying that in brief, some of the ministers did not give sound advice to Cabinet and the Privy Council.

September 13, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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