TONGAN MINISTER RESIGNS AFTER DRUNKEN EPISODE

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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, June 1) – Tonga’s Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Peauafi Haukinima has resigned.

The Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele announced the voluntary resignation of the Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Peauafi Haukinima, this afternoon.

Dr Sevele said that the Minister has been on leave, and while on leave he tendered his letter of resignation which he delivered to the king on Monday, and his resignation has been accepted, "effective from this week."

The Prime Minister did not elaborate on the reason for the Minister's resignation, but he agreed that the report that he was evicted from the Dateline Hotel for being drunk, and was later arrested and put in prison by the police was the reason for his resignation.

The Prime Minister said that once a person become a Cabinet Minister "your personal behaviour come under very strict scrutiny."

The Minister was one of the first elected People Representatives to have been appointed Cabinet Minister by the late king, Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.

The Prime Minister said that a new Minister of Agriculture has not been appointed, and he was not sure when the post will be filled.

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