20 Nov 2004

Democracy campaigners in Tonga say reasons clearer behind cabinet dismissals

9:04 am on 20 November 2004

The acting director of the Human Rights and Democracy Movement in Tonga says comments by the former Police Minister have shed light on the dismissals of cabinet ministers.

Reverend Simote Vea says the former minister Clive Edwards, has been interviewed on local television for the first time since he was sacked earlier this year.

Reverend Vea says the interview has shed more light on peoples' confusion and many unanswered questions after the dismissal.

In the interview Mr Edwards pointed to the Prime Minister and the Crown Prince's business interests as the main reasons why he and two other ministers were ousted.

He said the ministers have been accused of being rebellious and plotting against the government.

Mr Edwards says the differences started with the one airline policy, awarding services to Air Peau.

The Crown Prince is said to be a major shareholder in the airline.

Further tension arose when Mr Edwards presented the critical Royal Commission's report on Royal Tongan Airlines, where the Prime Minister was chairman of the board.