Tonga's Prime Minister blames ousting on a 'failed coup'

Tonga's now-interim Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva says the King's move to dissolve Parliament was part of a failed coup and an organised attempt to push him out.

He told Newshub he was never informed of the decision, and believes the way it occurred could be illegal.

He says he learned of King Tupou VI's decision to dissolve Parliament on social media.

"There was no direction from His Majesty to me, or a message or a letter. I just found out from outside," Mr Pohiva said.

"I was very disappointed. The way I look at it was that was a coup, but it failed."

Just three days ago, the government's speaker advised the King to take the action. The King did, but decided Mr Pohiva will remain Prime Minister for now.

"It was a well organised set up to dismantle the current government," Mr Pohiva said.

Mr Pohiva believes his opponents plotted against him, and said his advice from the Attorney General is that what had happened might not be legal.

He has faced criticism for cancelling the Pacific Games, which Tonga was to host in 2019, and was accused of using money carelessly, such as spending millions on developing a golf course.

While he claims there hasn't been any misappropriation of public funds, he accepts his leadership hadn't been without issues.

"Leaders are bound to make mistake - serious mistakes. We have done our best and the fact is the country is moving forward," Mr Pohiva said.

While the nation is moving forward, it also faces disruption and uncertainty - and early elections will be in November, where he plans to stand again.

Mr Pohiva will meet with ministers and government CEOs on Monday to discuss the ongoing political crisis. 

While the blow is a huge setback for his leadership, he says he has the support of the public and hopes to retain his job come November.