May 31, 2016

Pacific Games Council stands up to the Tongan PM's decision to remove Lord Sevele

The Pacific Games Council (PGC) says it does not recognise the decision of Prime Minister of Tonga to revoke the appointment of the Chairman of the Tonga 2019 Pacific Games Organising Committee, Lord Sevele.

A short statement issued by the President of the Pacific Games Council, Vidya Lakhan said the responsibility for the direction and control of the Pacific Games is vested with the Council.

However, in accordance with the PGC Constitution, the 2019 Games Host Contract signed with the Tongan Government on 19 October, 2012 and Tonga's own Pacific Games Organisation Act 2013, the powers of hiring and removing members resides with the TPGOC, the PGC's member association in TONGA which is TASANOC and the PGC itself.  

Such powers are not the remit of the Audit & Governance Authority or any other party.

Quoting Article 4 of the PGC Constitution, Lakhan said the Council is the supreme and decisive authority in all matters concerning the Pacific Games.
 "Any person or organisation belonging or having any relationship with, in any capacity whatsoever to the Council shall be bound by provisions of the Council Charter, and shall abide by the decisions of the Council, said Lakhan.

In relation to this matter, Article 4 has been invoked and the move to vacate the Tonga Pacific Games Organising Committe's Chairman is null and void.

"TASANOC will be holding fresh elections on 16 June, and we will work closely with the incoming Executive Committee of TASANOC to ensure all stakeholders fully understand their individual roles and responsibilities and more importantly deliver on their commitments in a timely manner to ensure a successful 2019  Tonga Pacific Games, said Lakhan.