8 Sep 2005

Tongan calls for change fail to dislodge government

4:53 pm on 8 September 2005

A Tongan MP, Clive Edwards, says he is unsure what direction supporters for democratic reforms can take after the first session of parliament since Tuesday's march.

Thousands marched to the Royal Palace this week to present a petition calling for political changes.

Koro Vakauta reports that the clamour for change has continued.

"Since then there have also been calls for the resignation of key cabinet ministers, including the prime minister. However, Mr Edwards says the issue of political reform and the petition wasn't even discussed during this morning's session and there is no indication the prime minister and his cabinet were ready to step down as had been hoped. 'There is no indication the way they came in this morning, the way that they fronted up in parliament, there is no indication or suggestion at all that they will resign or do anything that people are asking that they resign and go home - no way.' Mr Edwards says he understands four ministers had tendered their resignations before the session but they had not been accepted by the prime minister."