Absence of PM from opening of Parliament questioned

The Prime Minister of Tonga Hon. Tu'ivakanō who missed the opening of the first Parliament on his first term as PM of this new government.

The apparent absence of the Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano from the opening of Tonga’s first democratically elected Parliament on June 2nd was not only noticed by many people, but also questioned as to why?

Something must have been of greater importance for the Prime Minister to be at, missing what was deemed the most important opening of Parliament in recent memory. Even the king was present to address Parliament at the opening ceremony, and thousands of marching school children gave the occasion the honour it deserved.

There were two engagements however, that were of great importance for the Prime Minister to attend, in his role as Minister of Foreign Affairs. The first ever Korea-Pacific Foreign Ministers meeting was hosted by the Republic of Korea in Seoul from May 31.

Foreign Ministers from 13 Pacific Island Countries attended this inaugural summit meeting aimed at building stronger development cooperation with Korea with special focus on addressing environmental protection, sustainable development and climate change. Invitation for the Prime Minister’s attendance was received in February. Secretary-General of the Pacific Forum, Tuiloma Neroni Slade was also at the summit.

Lord Tu’ivakano stopped in New Zealand on his way home from Korea for his second important engagement, to meet with Foreign Minister Murray McCulley for high-level bilateral talks. The Prime Minister returned to Tonga on June 6th.

Minister's and MP's on the opening of Parliament

Overseas Diplomats in Tonga, HE Mr. Thomas Roth the Australian High Commissioner to Tonga, Ambassador of China to Tonga, Dominic Walton France from the New Zealand High Commissioner and Ambassador of Japan to Tonga HE Mr. Yasuo Takase

- By TMN Staff