Senituli’s presence leads to diplomatic responses from PM’s Office

Lopeti Senituli and PM Pohiva have come together

NUKU’ALOFA-March 12, 2018: 7.30pm (Nuku’alofa Times): The presence of Lopeti Senituli as Political and Communication Adviser for Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva is paying off.

For now at least.

After being enlisted to the important job three weeks ago the veteran former civil servant and NGO worker is showing his worth on the job.

He has been able to make sense of the PM and get diplomatic and responsble responses from the top office.

Press Releases now coming out of the PM’s Office have seen a change in stance and wordings.

And many believe Senituli’s presence at the top office will save the Government from more nasty views and comments.

Professor Malakai Koloamatangi told Radio New Zealand last week that PM Pohiva needs to come out and take control of his government, otherwise chaos will be the order within his current team.

His son-in-law and Police Minister Mateni Tapueluelu seems to be the trouble maker at the moment for government – blaming His Majesty’s Armed Forces and his own Police team of breaking the law in regards to ammunition buying and imports.

He also alleged that Police Commissioner Stephen Caldwell was only making arrests in recent high-profile cases because he wanted his contract renewed.

Those comments raised the attention of both the Armed Forces and the Attorney General’s Office here in Nuku’alofa.

That forced the PM’s Office to call for a meeting between PM Pohiva, Mateni, Acting Attorney General Aminiasi Kefu and Minister for Justice, Hon Vuna Fa’otusia.

A statement coming out of the PM’s Office this afternoon said the meeting agreed on common grounds.

“As the public is aware there has recently been an upsurge in exchanges in the media between my office, that of the Minister for Police and the Minister for Justice on the one hand and that of the Office of the Attorney General on the other,” the statement said.

“Although such exchanges are good for democracy, the media industry and of course the commentators on social media, it does not reflect well on the Government.

“So I called this meeting in the hope that we could agree on a common pathway forward regarding the relationship between Cabinet and the Privy Council, as well as set down a process for more regular consultation between Cabinet and the Attorney General’s Office.

“I am very happy to say that our meeting agreed on how to approach our relationship with the Privy Council and I shall raise this in my next audience with His Majesty King Tupou VI. I am also happy to say that we also agreed that there will be more regular consultation between Cabinet and the Attorney General’s Office, details of which will be confirmed later.”

Cabinet Minister Lord Ma’afu resigned from his post two weeks ago, amidst claims that he was forced to resign by PM Pohiva.

That resignation came a day after PM Pohiva announced he was not accepting his son in law’s resignation as Police Minister.

With the inside politicking going on and doubts on the Prime Minister’s ability to lead his team, Mr Senituli’s presence is welcomed by those who know that such a man of his ability is needed at this time to help steer the government forward in a professional manner.


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