A different body is responsible for the appointment of the Attorney General, the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
Hon. Vaipulu revealed this when the Whole House Committee was deliberating on Crown Law’s Budget Estimate on Tuesday 28th of June, which was later passed unanimously. The Hon. Minister told the House that the Cabinet has no mandate over the appointment of the Attorney General though the Parliament passed the legislation in January this year.
The Deputy Prime Minister is also the Acting Attorney General and he maintained that he’s acting on the position until a suitable candidate is appointed.
Hon. Vaipulu was responding to a question from the Tongatapu 8 People’s Representative, Sione Taione.
Taione recalled that a bill was submitted and passed by the house earlier this year to establish a panel for the selection of the Lord Chancellor and Attorney General. He also queried the progress made on the selection process.
The Deputy Prime Minister who is also, the Justice Minister informed the House that salary of the Attorney General is within the Crown Law’s estimates. For this reason, he maintained that he is acting on the position but with no special pay.
“Attorney General’s salary is within the Crown Law’s Vote, because this job is different from that of a Lord Chancellor.
The Attorney General is the top legal Adviser of the country while Lord Chancellor is the Titular Head of Judiciary, these positions are different,” according to Hon Samiu Vaipulu.