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Convicted Tongan MPs win stays ahead of appeals

Thursday 26 May 2022 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional, Tonga


Convicted Tongan MPs win stays ahead of appeals
Photo: Tonga government

All four Tongan MPs whose seats in parliament were voided after election petitions, have won stays pending appeals.

The quartet includes three cabinet ministers, the Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei, Finance Minister Tatafu Moeaki, and Sangster Saulala, along with the former prime minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa.

They lost their seats when accusations of bribery of voters ahead of last year's election were proven.

RNZ Pacific's Tongan correspondent said, now, with all the ministers able to stay, the Tongan Parliament, which has been deferred twice in the past two weeks, is likely to sit next week.

Kalafi Moala said getting the Budget passed is the critical thing for the government.

"The first item on the agenda, of course, will have to be the Budget and they really want to get this approved before the 30th of June.

"The economy is very much dependent not only on remittances that come from Tongans overseas and there is foreign aid that helps so there is no major expectations for the Budget among the people."