THE Vote Of No Confidence (VONC) motion in the Prime Minister will be put to a vote today.
This is after five working days from the time of it was first tabled for debate in the Legislative Assembly.
And it is according to Clause 84 G (1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
It was a controversial issue after the Prime Minister, Hon. ‘Akilisi Pohiva requested for the no confidence motion to be balloted last Friday.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Siaosi Sovaleni maintains last Friday is the fifth day from the time it was tabled in Parliament.
He warned Parliament if Government seeks legal opinion on the matter and its interpretation falls on last Friday, that means the (VONC) motion in the PM will be void.
Chairman of the Privilege Committee, Lord Tu’iha’angana responded if that would be the case, then no confidence motion is invalid.
The Lord Speaker Tu’ivakano reiterated that according to the Interpretation Act, the fifth day will be today since the no confidence motion was tabled for debate last Monday.
He says the first day is counted from last Tuesday.
Prior to it on Thursday, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, asked the PM for a special sitting of Parliament on Friday for his reply to be read in the House.
The request was made to the PM since Friday is the usual meeting day of the Cabinet.
However, the PM called on the Speaker for the no confidence motion to take place last Friday. This was met with resistance from the Noble’s Representatives.
Vava’u number 2 Noble Representative Lord Tu’ilakepa who tabled the motion and ‘Eua Noble Representative Lord Nuku both asserted MPs need time to read the PM’s reply since they just received the reply Friday morning.
Lord Speaker emphasized that according to the House Rules no reply was needed but it was out of consideration for the PM. In that regard, he directed for the VONC to take place today.
All Members are present today.