Tonga. According to
Countryaah, Lord Tu'iha'ateiho, the Deputy Speaker of Tonga's
Single Chamber Parliament, announced in August that he would
leave his post - due to lack of skills. Tu'iha'ateiho said
he did not feel "sufficiently competent for the mission". He
had been indicted for unlawful possession of a firearm in
2010, but according to the Justice Minister, that was not a
sufficient reason for departure. The popular reaction to the
resignation decision was positive, while a united parliament
opposed it and urged Tu'iha'ateiho to remain as president.
When the trial of the Deputy Speaker was postponed until
November 2014, he looked to remain at his post until further
notice. He refused to hold the weapon.
The king's heir, Prince Fatafehi Tu 'ipelehake, who had
been prime minister since 1965, was replaced in 1991 by
Baron Vaea. In 1992, opposition groups formed the
Pro-Democracy Movement, winning 6 of the 9 seats in the
February 1993 parliamentary elections.
Yet the power of the king is controlled, persons
appointed by him to high positions within the state, and a
small group of nobles. In September 1994, the
Pro-Democracy Movement transformed into the Tonga
Democratic Party under 'Akilisi Pohiva's leadership.
The king continued to promise multi-party rule, without
changing his almost total monopoly on power. Tourism rose
significantly in the early 1990s - 11.3% in 1994. That same
year, Tonga refused to allow Japan to catch whales in its
Along with other countries in the South Pacific Forum,
Nukualofa sharply criticized the French nuclear tests on
Mururoa and Fangataufa in 1995 and 96.
In January 1996, the so-called People's Party won 6 out
of the 9 seats in parliament. In the same year, a longer
drought severely affected the economy - especially
agriculture. The agricultural products accounted for 80% of
the country's export revenue.
Protests against the regime of political liberalization
continued in 1997. The same year, several arrests of
political leaders and journalists were recorded.
In March 1998, the Minister of Earth, the nobleman
Fakafanua (the king's brother-in-law) was arrested and
charged with fraud with public funds and for receiving
bribes. A court released him a few days later, though he was
banned from leaving the country.
In December 2000, Tonga sold the right to explore the
genes of the country's 108,000 large population to an
Australian company, provided the results of the research
were made available to the Tongales free of charge. The
country has been in the spotlight for genetic companies for
several years due to the disproportionate representation of
obesity in the population.
In October 2001, two ministers - including the Deputy
Prime Minister - were forced to resign when the government
admitted that about $ 26 million had disappeared. US $ from
the public coffers. The scandal also involved the North
American businessman, Jesse Bogdonoff, who had been referred
to as "court jester".
A constitutional amendment in October 2003 gave the king
greater power and increased state control over the media.