'Isileli Pulu

ʻIsileli Pulu
Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries
In office
1 September 2011 – 25 June 2012
Prime MinisterLord Tuʻivakanō
Preceded byLisiate ‘Akolo
Succeeded byViliami Latu
Minister for Tourism
In office
5 January 2011 – 1 September 2011
Succeeded byViliami Latu
Member of Parliament
for Tongatapu 4
In office
26 November 2010 – 27 November 2014
Preceded bynone (constituency established)
Personal details
Born15 May 1957

‘Isileli Pulu (born 15 May 1957[1]) is a Tongan politician and former 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 in 2001.[1] He had previously run in the 1999 election, but was unsuccessful.[2]

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.[3]

In 2002 Pulu was charged with sion and forgery over the publication of a letter claiming king Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV had a secret fortune.[4] He was acquitted by a jury in May 2003.[5] In 2003, he challenged then-Police Minister Clive Edwards' use of police housing.[6] He also opposed government plans for a media clampdown aimed at preventing criticism from the Times of Tonga.[7]

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 sion.[8] He was acquitted of the former charges by a jury in July 2008.[9] The sion charges against him and a number of other pro-democracy MPs were dismissed in September 2009.[10]

Pulu was elected to the seat of Tongatapu 4 in the 2010 elections.[11] Following the election and selection of a Prime Minister he accepted the position of Minister of Education in the new Cabinet.[12] On September 1, 2011, he was reshuffled to the Ministry for Labour, Commerce and Industries.[13] 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.[14]

He was not re-elected at the 2014 Tongan general election.


  1. ^ a b c "ʻIsileli Pulu" Archived 2012-03-17 at the Wayback Machine, Parliament of Tonga
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Pulu v. Rec (CR.647/98)". 2000-07-21. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  4. ^ "Democracy activists to face trial in Tonga". RNZ. 19 August 2002. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  5. ^ "MPs acquitted on sion charges". The Age. 2003-05-20. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  6. ^ "Tongan MP says Police Minister should not be living free of charge in police housing". RNZ. 9 July 2003. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Concern over Tongan media clampdown". RNZ. 4 June 2003. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  8. ^ "Tongan MP charged over November riot". RNZ. 12 January 2007. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Tonga's number two People's Rep cleared on riot-related charges". RNZ. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Five acquitted on charges of sious conspiracy in Tonga". RNZ. 14 September 2009. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  11. ^ "First election results". MantangiTonga. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  12. ^ "Tonga Democrats accept two top jobs, seek more". RNZ. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Cabinet quietly reshuffles portfolios", Matangi Tonga, September 7, 2011
  14. ^ "Three Cabinet Ministers in Tonga resign ahead of confidence motion". RNZ. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2020.

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