8 Sep 2005

Tongan pro-democracy MP tables motion to sack government

1:53 pm on 8 September 2005

A pro-democracy MP in Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva, has called for the government to step down because of the slow speed at tackling democratic reforms.

He made the call in the assembly during an extraordinary sitting of the assembly.

From Nuku'alofa Koro Vakauta reports.

"Thousands marched to the Royal Palace this week to present a petition calling for democratic reform and political changes. There have also been calls for the Prime Minister and key Cabinet ministers to resign. Mr Pohiva says it was hoped some of these concerns would have been dealt with in this morning's parliamentary session which was unexpectedly called early. However, the Prime Minister requested that parliament be adjourned indefinitely to give the government time to deal with the issues at hand. Mr Pohiva says the session was disappointing.

'We started this morning with the hope that the Prime Minister would do something about the grievances of the and great damages that has been you know done by Government. We expected him to say something about it, but he never said anything about it. So I moved this morning a motion - an oral motion - requesting the prime Minister and all the ministers to resign.'

However the speaker, Honorable Veikune called a lunch break before Mr Pohiva's oral motion could be tabled and debated."