THE Whole House Committee has rejected Tongatapu 5 Private Bill for the Prime Minister to be elected by the people.
15 Members of Parliament voted against the controversial Bill.
Six of the People’s Representatives voted in support of the proposed Bill.
Tongatapu 3 MP, Dr. Sitiveni Halapua abstained from voting.
Dr. ‘Aisake Eke’s proposed Bill has triggered strong opposition from Cabinet Ministers as well as the Noble Representatives.
Speaker of the House, Lord Fakafanua told Parliament he is supportive to amend the Constitution to be in line with the political reform however has his own reservation.
“Party system is not yet officially adopted in our Parliament. As of now, every MPs has a chance to stand as candidacy for the position of PM. When Tonga has party system in place, leader of the winning party will become the Prime Minister,” explained Lord Fakafanua.
He also added that no countries in the world have adopted such proposal to provide for people to elect the PM. He said Tonga has a single House unlike Great Britain that has House of Lords and House of Commons. He added what is so noble about Tonga’s Parliament is the chance for People’s Representative to work in collaboration with the Nobles.
He said three tiers in society are represented in Parliament, with Nobles representing the nobility, People’s Representative for people and Cabinet representing Executive.
Lord Fakafanua emphasized that Nobles are accountable to the King simply of the love they have for the people.
In his concluding speech, Dr. Eke maintained that his proposed Bill aimed to bring a Government that has integrity and stability.
He adds his ideal Government that involves people directly electing their leaders including the Prime Minister.
“A Government that would be transparent, engage more with the public for clarity and confidence,” said Dr. Eke.
He gave reference to 2005 protests which resulted in Government’s failure to engage civil servants on talks on their salary structure. He adds tireless efforts were made for consultation with Government but to no avail.
Dr. Eke said the lesson learnt from 2005 incident is for more open Government making information accessible and available to all stakeholders.