13 April 2020 Democracy Movement in Tonga known as PTOA is in chaos and dysfunction due to miscommunication, misinterpretation of the vision, different political propaganda, misinformation, no constitution and lack of leadership qualities.

The pro-democracy movement in Tonga let by the late ‘Akilisi Pohiva who worked with a clear vision and principles of transparency, rule of law, justice, fair distribution and let the people vote for their leaders and so forth.

The democracy movement was not registered as a society or non-profit organisation due to no rules to govern the political party system in Tonga. Hence, Akilisi Pohiva did not require any constitution for the operation of the movement even though it was not hard to put one in place.

‘Akilisi Pohiva worked closely with the movement supporters and the people of Tonga during his 32 years in parliament. It could be argued that this great man, the late ‘Akilisi Pohiva, has experienced things differently that no one else in the movement can possible do. He did not want to operate the movement with a ruling constitution but instead with a vision.

‘Akilisi Pohiva always eliminates well-known supporters who tried to interpret the vision differently such as the idea of ‘kafataha’ (working together with Nobles). He did not want the movement to put burdens on supporters to earn political gain but instead enrich them with the wealth of the land.

The new leadership core team of the PTOA movement took over the reign of overseeing the democracy movement in Tonga when ‘Akilisi Pohiva passed away but they seems devastated and unable to lead the movement from the front.

Some supporters of the PTOA Movement known as the ‘Hard Talk’ disfavoured senior members of the PTOA Core Team such as Mr Mateni Tapueluelu, the people representation of Tongatapu 4, and called for his elimination from the movement. Mateni Tapueluelu is married with ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s daughter, Lautala Tapueluelu.

The belittling and discriminating of Mateni Tapueluelu created a state of confusion, divisive and uncertainty amongst the movement supports. The die-hard supporters of Mateni Tapueluelu stood beside their favoured MP and start exchanging statements in public with their fellow PTOA.

The ‘hard talk’ movement also gave mix messages for other two senior members of the PTOA Core Team, Semisi Sika (PTOA Chairman / MP for Tongatapu 2) and Mo’ale Finau (MP for Ha’apai 12).

They claimed on social media that Mateni Tapueluelu had created his own PTOA party with a list of candidates for 17 constituencies. The names of Misi Sika, Mateni Tapueluelu and Mo’ale Finau were amongst the names of 17 candidate’s listed for the new PTOA Party for 2021.

I contacted Misi Sika (the Chairman of PTOA) about the accusation of the candidate list and he replied that “he knows nothing about it. He fully respects Mateni and the ‘hard talk’ freedom of speech but the accusation of him involved in another party’s candidate list is invalid and misinform. Candidate list could be some people’s wish and sometimes its like a joke from a kava-Tonga club. Misi Sika reaffirm that PTOA movement is the only party that he is committed to. He will stand loyal to PTOA movement re regardless of the accusation. If he wants to depart the movement then going back home is his only option.”

Mo’ale Finau replied back and said that “this accusation is a lie, just ignore them”.

Furthermore, the ‘hard talk’ movement announced that the PTOA movement will replace the Core Team by nominating new Board members for the movement with its new constitution and such. The Board will take over the power from the PTOA Core Team even if it does cause internal political chaos within the movement.

The soft closing of the Parliament in March appeared that the Secretary of the Core team, Siaosi Pohiva (MP for Tongatapu 1) did not accept the majority vote from the rest of the Core Team. Siaosi Pohiva decided to do a solo boycott and not attend the Parliament while the rest of the Core Team does.

Is that a conspiracy against the democracy movement in Tonga? Did the accusations of the Core Team is valid and authoritative or does it have a truth that needs to address? Can the accusation of the Core Team leaders put democracy movement into turmoil?

Time will tell but the Core Team urgently need to fix their backyard before doing their primary role as the opposition in the coming Parliament in May 2020.

MOVEUVEU E PAATI TEMOKALATI ‘OTUMOTU ANGA’OFA (PTOA) PEA TUKUAKI’I MOE CORE TEAM

‘Oku lolotonga hoko ‘a e valau moe ta’efiemalie lahi ‘i he kau poupou koia ‘a e PTOA ‘o tatau pe ‘i tu’apule’anga pea mo Tonga ni ‘o makatu’unga ‘i he ‘enau feta’efiemalie’aki ‘i he fakahoko fatongia ‘a e Poate Pule (Core Team) pea pehe ki he ni’ihi ‘o e kau memipa pe Fakafofonga Falealea ‘i he Poate Pule. Kuo tukuaki’i ai ‘e he ‘enau polokalama ‘Hard Talk’ ‘a Mateni Tapueluelu koe Fakafofonga Falealea ‘o Tongatapu 4, ‘o pehe ‘oku ne fakamoveuveu mo fie taki pea ‘oku ne ‘osi fokotu’u paati fo’ou pea ‘iai mo ‘ene lisi kanititeiti ki he 2021. Kuo hokohoko pea lahi ‘aupito ‘a hono tapalasia ‘o Mateni Tapueluelu pea a’u ki ha tu’unga kuo fakaha ai ‘e he Hard Talk kuo nau ‘osi tuku ‘a Mateni kitu’a mei he PTOA pea ‘oku ‘iai ‘enau kanititeiti fo’ou ki TT4 ki he 2021. Ko Mateni foki ‘oku ne ma’u hoa kia Lautala Tapueluelu koe ‘ofefine ‘o ‘Akilisi Pohiva. ‘Oku tukuaki’i foki pea mo Misi Sika koe Sea PTOA (MP TT2) pea mo Mo’ale Finau (MP Ha’apai 12) ‘o pehe ‘oku na kau he lisi koia ‘o e kau kanititeiti ‘a Mateni. Ka na’e fakaha ‘e Misi Sika ia ki he ongoongo ni ‘oku loi ‘a e tukuaki’i ‘oku fai kia teia he ‘oku te’ekiai kene fetu’utaki ia mo Mateni ki ha lisi kanititeiti pea ‘oku ne mateaki’i pe ‘eia PTOA. Ka ‘iai ha’ane mavahe ko ‘ene foki pe ki ‘api. Na’e fakaha foki ‘e Mo’ale Finau ‘oku loi moe tukuaki’i kuo fai kiai pea ‘oku sai ke tukunoa’i pe. Kuo toe fakaha foki he ‘Hard Talk’ ‘a Tilila kuo pau kenau fili ‘enautolu ha kau memipa Poate fo’ou mei he ngaahi vahenga mo muli pea ke nau fakalele ‘a e movement kae ‘ikai koe CORE TEAM. Koe ngaahi ta’efiemalie’aki ko ‘eni ‘oku kei fakalalahi pe pea kuo mavaeua ai kau poupou PTOA.

©Vavau Politics Online News 2020