Tonga: Impact of Vote of No Confidence on Minister of Education, Women’s Affair & Culture – Hon. Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki


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09 July 2012

The Tonga Women and Children Crisis Centre (WCCC) is concerned about the possible negative impact that the upcoming vote-of-no-confidence will have on women’s representation in parliament.

“It is a real big shame because under the leadership of the Hon. Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki, the Ministry has undergone a series of visionary changes and this has come about because of the skills, qualifications and significant years of experience in the education sector that the Minister has brought with her to the ministerial portfolio, moreover, she has moved mountains where it has seemed impossible such as championing a submission to cabinet to approve a review of existing laws with the overall aim of developing a more comprehensive legislation on violence against women and children” says ‘Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Director of the WCCC.

The problem is that the call for a vote of no confidence means that if the current Prime Minister is voted out, his entire line-up of Ministers will also lose their positions.  As a result, the only female in parliament, Hon. Minister Dr. Taufe’ulungaki will lose her portfolio. In addition, it is no surprise that the opposition lead by ‘Akilisi Pohiva are opposed to ‘external appointments’ which means that the likelihood of Dr. Taufe’ulungaki returning under a new line-up is highly unlikely.  “Unless of course the opposition treads carefully and assesses the achievements of the current Ministers to date of which I have no doubt if they were to do so, they would perhaps have a change of perspective on those elected vs those not elected but rather appointed” says Guttenbeil-Likiliki.

There are advantages to having both options of selecting Ministers from those elected and the opportunity to appoint externally.  It is not always possible to have every single member elected into Parliament skilled, qualified and experienced in the various Ministerial Portfolio requirements.  Hence the opportunity to appoint externally is a saving grace.  “The opportunity to appoint externally allows the Prime Minister to select the cream of the crop where it is not available from within.  The appointment of Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki is a classic example” says Guttenbeil-Likliki.

If Dr. ‘Ana Taufe’ulungaki does not maintain her portfolio Tonga’s Parliament will be back on the ‘dirty dozen’ list of countries globally who have failed to take measures to increase women’s participation in their national parliaments.

 

[ENDS]

 

For more information please contact WCCC on 22240 or email ofa.guttenbeil@gmail.com

Women & Children Crisis Centre Inc. (WCCC)

Off Taufa’ahau Main Road, Opposite the FWC Hall

FANGA ‘O PILOLEVU

TONGATAPU

P.O Box 2281, Nuku’alofa

Phone:  (+676) 22 240

Website: www.wccctonga.org

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