Hon. Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni with the Lord Speaker Fakafanua after the VONC was defeated in Parliament.
The Prime Minister, Hon Siaosi Sovaleni this afternoon survived a vote of no confidence moved by the Tongatapu 5 People’s representative Hon. ‘Aisake Valu Eke by 14-11 votes.
Yesterday, the Vote of No Confidence Motion in the Prime Minister was tabled in Parliament. It was submitted to Parliament on 22 August 2023, signed by Tongatapu 5 MP, Dr. ‘Aisake Eke and nine other MPs.
It took eight hours for the Motion and the Written Reply of the Hon. Prime Minister to be read in Parliament from 10:00 in the morning before its session ended at 10:00 pm at night.
The reading of the 92 page Motion and the 132 page Written Response from the Prime Minister continued this morning and finally completed by midday.
The Motion contained 46 issues that Hon. Eke and the other signatories to the motions no confidence were dissatisfied with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
The PM was heavily criticized on a number of issues, especially government’s continued involvement in the operation of the Lulutai Airlines, settlement out of court and payment of these court cases, failure to reduce the price of electricity, issues regarding the cost of repair to the ‘Otuanga’ofa Ferry among many other issues.
However, after the Motion was defeated today, the Hon. Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni extended his sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Speaker and the MPs for their confidence and continuing support of his Cabinet. He also thanked the Hon. ‘Aisake Eke and the MPs who did not support him for the VONC Motion, a good mechanism to keep the government in check and holding them accountable to the people. He also reassured Parliament that it is also a good tool to help Cabinet improve their service the people.
The Hon. PM also called on his fellow legislators to collaborate and work together with the Cabinet for the good of the country.
Hon. Sovaleni was appointed the Prime Minister of Tonga in December 2021 following the November general election and they have been in Executive for over 18 months.
This is the Fourth Motion for a Vote of no confidence since the Political reform in 2010. None of the Vote of no confidence has ever been successful since it was first introduced.