Sovaleni says thank you and denies PM’s claim
NUKU’ALOFA-September 7: 4.47pm (Nuku’alofa Times): Former Tongan Deputy Prime Minister, Siaosi Sovaleni has paid tribute to everyone who had supported him in his tenure as a Cabinet Minister, including Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva.
And while meeting the media on Tuesday afternoon, Hon Sovaleni said he was never involved in the plot to request His Majesty King Tupou VI to dissolve Parliament.
In a statement he read out, Sovaleni said, “I would like to strongly deny the rumours that I was involved in any efforts to dissolve Tonga’s Parliament at any point in time.”
“There is absolutely no truth to that rumour,” he said.
“I always committed the best of my abilities, dedication and loyalty to the Kingdom and to serving the people,” he added.
That statement contradicts claims made by caretaker Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva, who recommended to King Tupou VI that Hon Sovaleni and Finance Minister Tevita Lavemaau be sacked from Cabinet.
PM Pohiva said the two had prior knowledge of the King’ action and did not tell him or Cabinet.
Hon Sovaleni said he has accepted the decision by His Majesty for him to be excluded from Cabinet:
On the 5th September 2017, I received the letter from the Prime Minister confirming that His Majesty King Tupou VI had affirmed the recommendation to revoke my appointment as Deputy Prime Minister and Ministerial appointments to Cabinet.
I accept the decision that has been made.
Execution of Duties
I always committed the best of my abilities, dedication and loyalty to the Kingdom and to serving the people. I wish to offer my apologies for any shortfalls in the way I carried my duties or myself.
At all times, I expressed my honest views and beliefs to assist and support the leadership of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. On no occasion did I try to undermine the support and cohesion within Cabinet.
I would like to strongly deny the rumours that I was involved in any efforts to dissolve Tonga’s Parliament at any point in time. There is absolutely no truth to that rumour.
Expression of Gratitude
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the people of Tonga for all your support during my tenure in government.
I would like to thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity and trust to serve in Cabinet and Government. Carrying out my role in Cabinet to help the people was indeed a blessing. I would like to extend my best wishes to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers as they continue in their roles.
I wish to acknowledge Mr. Paula Ma’u, the CEO and all the staff of MEIDECC for the cooperation and support since the commencement of this Government from early 2015, also to the retired CEO Va’inga Tone and Acting CEO Siamelie Latu including all staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I am most grateful for all your support.
I would like to thank all other Ministries of Government, all the civil servants including public enterprises and statutory bodies for the rewarding collaborations.
I am also very grateful to the church leaders for all your prayers. Your prayers and encouragements were a constant source of encouragement.
I wish to extend my gratitude to all the district and town officers, CEOs and leaders in the private enterprise, NGOs and CSOs and media organisations. Your support enabled me to do better in my role.
I would also like to thank all the diplomatic corps and representatives of overseas missions, development partners and implementing agencies for all your substantive support for the development of our country and livelihood of the people of Tonga. I hope this collaboration will continue and be strengthened going forward.
Finally, I would also like to extend my most sincere and humble appreciation to all the people in my constituency – Tongatapu 3, for your untiring support while I was a Minister in Cabinet. I commit to continuing our fruitful collaboration to strengthen the peaceful, civil and cooperative environment and we strive to improve the well-being of everyone in our constituency.
This is an important period for me and my family and I hope you will respect our privacy at this time.
May God’s blessings be upon His Majesty, government, the people and Tonga’s future.
Faka’apa’apa mo e tu’a’ofa atu
Member of Parliament for Tongatapu Constituency 3
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