14 Oct 2006

Tongan PM cautious about proposed reforms

4:53 am on 14 October 2006

The prime minister of Tonga, Dr Feleti Sevele, is sounding a note of caution over proposed political reforms presented to parliament this week.

The National Committee for Political Reform report calls for a legislature of 26 members instead of the current 30,

with 17 popularly elected MPs instead of the present 9.

The report calls for a cabinet of 17 members.

Dr Sevele say there were mixed reactions from within the legislature and his personal view would be for a more conservative approach.

"Perhaps not 17 but say, 14 people's reps. Nobility representatives to remain the same and perhaps cabinet, well definitely not to be more than the current number."

Dr Feleti Sevele, the prime minister of Tonga.

Tonga currently has a cabinet of 15.

He has suggested that a cabinet committee be set up to try and reach a consensus on the ideas and report back in the early part of next year.