PMC seminar: Can the Democracy Coalition retain power in Tonga?

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Report by Pacific Media Centre

Dr Michael Horowitz

Event date and time: 

Thursday, January 26, 2017 – 16:00 17:30

PMC SEMINAR: Can the Democracy Coalition retain power in Tonga? By Dr Michael Horowitz, Academic Dean, ‘Atenisi Institute

Introduced by PMC director Professor David Robie

Twenty-two years after Tonga’s insurgent “constitutional convention” of 1992, a coalition of democrat and independent MPs elected the founding leader of the Democracy Party, ‘Akilisi Pōhiva, Prime Minister. Within five months, a contingent of a raucous demonstration of the Catholic Women’s League – a former pillar of the democratic movement – was chanting “Heigh-hee, heigh-ho, ‘Akilisi’s gotta go”; by October 2015, the former Education Minister was demanding the PM’s detachment from that portfolio. Yet a threat by the putative leader of the aristocratic opposition to bring down the coalition – lodged last August in Auckland – has yet to be realised. As the coalition government embarks on its third year, is it possible to assess its durability?

About Dr Horowitz: Dr Horowitz is academic dean of the university at ‘Atenisi Institute in Tonga, which is planning to establish a media academy on its second campus in the ‘Isileli district of Nuku’alofa. He holds US postgraduate degrees in social science from the New School in New York and the College of Public Affairs at Oregon’s Portland State University.

Dr Horowitz’s analyses of US politics and culture have appeared in the Village Voice, Playboy, and the Psychiatric Times, among other periodicals, while academic articles and reviews have been regionally published in Sites, Journal of Pacific History and Journal of Pacific Affairs.

When: Thursday, January 26, 2017 – 4-5.30pm
Where: WG703, Sir Paul Reeves Building, Auckland University of Technology, City Campus

More information: david.robie@aut.ac.nz

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