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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Tonga could lose 2019 Pacific Games

NUKU'ALOFA,06 MAY 2016 (NUKU'ALOFA TIMES) ---Tonga could lose the right to host the 2019 Pacific Games if internal bickering continues, the Pacific Games Council has warned.
Council President Vidhya Lakhan made the comments in a correspondence with the Audit and Governance Authority, chaired by Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva.
This followed the leaking of a letter to the 2019 Pacific Games Organising Committee to the media in Nuku’alofa, which called for Lord Sevele to resign from his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Organising Committee.
The letter was sent to Lakhan, as a member of the Audit and Governance Authority.
He responded and warned the AGA about the repercussions of their decision if the proposal to ask for Lord Sevele’s resignation was to go ahead.
“I urge members to cease and desist from further steps in contravention of the Pacific Games Charter and Host Agreement,” he said in his response.
“If this proposal advances without respect for these due processes, which the Tongan Government agreed to when signing the Host Agreement in 2012, PGC will instigate a full examination of the Host Agreement’s termination clauses and possibility of withdrawal of Tonga’s rights to host the 2019 Pacific Games,” he added.
Lakhan said the proposal contravened the Pacific Games Charter and the Host Agreement.
He added that the AGA and Government does not have any authority in removing the Chairman of the Organising Committee nor their members, without consulting the Council first.
In his response to media queries at a media conference Thursday, Lord Sevele said they had not received the letter.
He said he was not worried and called for Government to pull its act together instead of creating tension and uncertainty.
Lord Sevele said the time now is for all stakeholders to pull together and prepare for the Games.
He said the incident was a distraction to the work that needs to be done now.
Meanwhile, Lord Tupou, a former President of TASANOC and a member of the Organising Committee, said the proposal by the AGA lacked legal advise.
He said the AGA does not have the power to appoint or terminate the employment of Lord Sevele and this power is vested in the Organising Committee alone.
Lord Tupou also called on Lord Sevele and his team to disregard the letter and proposal and focus on their presentation to the Pacific Games Council meeting in Port Vila, Vanuatu next week......PACNEWS

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 7:12 PM. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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