ʻIsileli Pulu

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‘Isileli Pulu (born 15 May 1957[1]) is a Tongan politician and Member of the Tongan Parliament. He is a member of the Human Rights and Democracy Movement and the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.


He has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Charles Sturt University (Australia).[1]

Pulu was first elected to Parliament for the island of Tongatapu at the 2002 election.[2] He had previously run in the 1999 election, but was unsuccessful.[3]

In 1999 Pulu was convicted of defamation and fined $1,500 for a letter to the Times of Tonga in which he referred to the king as a pig.[4]

In 2002 Pulu was charged with sedition and forgery over the publication of a letter claiming king Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV had a secret fortune.[5] He was acquitted by a jury in May 2003.[6] In 2003, he challenged then-Police Minister Clive Edwards' use of police housing.[7] He also opposed government plans for a media clampdown aimed at preventing criticism from the Times of Tonga.[8]

After the 2006 Nuku‘alofa riots Pulu was accused of encouraging the riot and inciting two men to burn down the Shoreline building, in which eight people were killed. He was arrested in January 2007 and charged with abetting murder and arson, and sedition.[9] He was acquitted of the former charges by a jury in July 2008.[10] The sedition charges against him and a number of other pro-democracy MPs were dismissed in September 2009.[11]

Pulu was elected to the seat of Tongatapu 4 in the 2010 elections.[12] Following the election and selection of a Prime Minister he accepted the position of Minister of Education in the new Cabinet.[13] On September 1, 2011, he was reshuffled to the Ministry for Labour, Commerce and Industries.[14] In late June 2012, he -along with two other ministers- resigned from the Cabinet, so as to support a motion of no confidence tabled by his party (DPFI) against the government.[15]


  1. ^ a b "ʻIsileli Pulu", Parliament of Tonga
  2. ^ "Profile of 'Isileli Pulu". Parliament of Tonga. Retrieved 2010-03-01.[dead link]
  3. ^ Kerry James (2000). "Polynesia in Review: Issues and Events, 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999: Political Review: Tonga". The Contemporary Pacific. 12 (1): 251.
  4. ^ "Pulu v. Rec (CR.647/98)". 2000-07-21. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  5. ^ "Democracy activists to face trial in Tonga". Radio New Zealand International. 2002-08-19. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  6. ^ "MPs acquitted on sedition charges". The Age. 2003-05-20. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  7. ^ "Tongan MP says Police Minister should not be living free of charge in police housing". Radio New Zealand International. 2003-07-10. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  8. ^ "Concern over Tongan media clampdown". Radio New Zealand International. 2003-06-04. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  9. ^ "Tongan MP charged over November riot". Radio new Zealand International. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  10. ^ "Jurors aquit (sic) three accused of 16/11 deaths, abetment (sic)". Matangi Tonga. 2008-07-14. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  11. ^ "Five acquitted on charges of seditious conspiracy in Tonga". Radio new Zealand International. 2009-09-13. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  12. ^ "First election results". MantangiTonga. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  13. ^ "Tonga Democrats accept two top jobs, seek more". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-12-29. Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  14. ^ "Cabinet quietly reshuffles portfolios", Matangi Tonga, September 7, 2011
  15. ^ "Three Cabinet Ministers in Tonga resign ahead of confidence motion", Radio New Zealand International, 25 June 2012

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