11 Oct 2005

Tongan MP fears democracy petition will be ignored

5:02 pm on 11 October 2005

A Pro-Democracy MP in Tonga says last month's march involving thousands to present petitions to the King calling for political change could have been in vain.

Isi Pulu says it has been five weeks since the highly publicised march and there has still not been any response to the petitions from His Majesty or the government.

Mr Pulu says it now looks as though there will be no such move this year.

"We still have to wait because under the Constitution we have the right to submit a petition but how long the duration for answering those petition it's not in the Constitution, so it's up to the King whether it's going to be a year or so with no response. The Prime Minister, he's on leave for two weeks and I think the parliament won't be long until we close down for the year so it's a big mess at the moment."

Isi Pulu says the nine People's representatives are going to take an unofficial referendum in December to ask locals if they want a fully-elected parliament or not.

He says the referendum will be used to put further pressure on the government.