8 Sep 2005

Tonga Prince says the King must lead the move to democracy

10:19 am on 8 September 2005

The representative of Tonga's royalty in the country's parliament says the King has to introduce changes to the political system if he wants to prevent more disruption.

Prince Tu'ipelehake, who supported civil servants striking for better pay, says his uncle, the King, has talked about change, but hasn't acted fast enough.

He says that led people to take their own steps, including this week's march and the petition for democratic reforms.

"These political reforms will govern economic reforms. This is the argument that we have tried to get through to the government. You cannot isolate political reforms from economic reforms. They go hand-in-hand."

Prince Tu'ipelehake says there are three versions of a new constitution being circulated among parliament's members, but all need more work.