1 Sep 2005

Tonga civil servants call for fully elected parliament

10:16 am on 1 September 2005

The Interim Public Servants Committee, which has been leading the six week long strike in Tonga, has unveiled its proposal for a new form of government.

Thousands of striking workers are demanding the resignations of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet after their demands for large wage increases were not met.

They have prepared a petition to this effect and intend presenting it to the King when he returns to Tonga next week.

The chair of the interim-committee, FinauTutone, says they will also be pushing for a fully democratically elected parliament.

However Mr Tutone has acknowledged the Constitution doesn't allow for such a parliament as it says King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV has the ability to choose its make up.

Mr Tutone says they are proposing an interim government be named until the Constitution can be amended.

"It has to fall back to the old constitution. It is the perogative of the King to do that, so the interim government is also given to the King because of the constitutional perogative."