Tongan King questions government decisions to close Parliament session

Tonga’s King Tupou VI closed the 2023/2024 session of the Tongan Parliament with a hard-hitting message delivered by one of his Privy Council members.

Lord Tangi of Vaonukonuka read the King’s message in the House this morning (Thursday) in Havelu, outside Nuku’alofa.

While calling for transparency on government’s spending, the King also asked why they are interfering with state-owned businesses.

He also called on Parliament to monitor and check government’s spending and ensure that the grassroots benefit from all government services and projects.

“Government is answerable to the people who elected them into Parliament. And Parliament needs to monitor how government uses taxpayers’ money in accordance to the law.

“Parliament needs to be asking if government is using the finances wisely and diligently. See if how the finances used is beneficial to the people and the country.”

King Tupou VI said government’s work must be transparent and challenged the Ombudsman’s Office to carry out their mandate, in keeping government in check.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - March 27: The visit by the King of Tonga to Government House March 27, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Mark Tantrum/

Turning to government’s dealings with state-owned businesses, the King said they should focus on their key calling or responsibility, which is to serve the people.

“They should not be running businesses. They should leave each sector to run their own focal businesses.

“Why are they running the airline company and not give that to those who know how to run the airline business to run it?”

On the current drug problem Tonga is facing, King Tupou Vi said the highest or most severe sentence should be handed out to those found to be in the drug trade.

“They are destroying the lives of our future generations,” he said.

He said the issue is as critical as climate change and needs government to take a more pro-active approach in eliminating it.

He added the drug issue is an international problem that has reached local populations because it is now being sold locally.

The new 2023/2024 session of the Tongan Parliament will begin in June.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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