23 Oct 2006

Decisions on Tonga's political reform expected next year

6:34 am on 23 October 2006

A decision on what proposals Tonga's government will accept on political reform will not be known until next year.

The prime minister Dr Feleti Sevele has presented a number of proposals to the Assembly which took into consideration some of those put forward in the Report of the National Committee for Political Reform.

One proposal was that the size of the Assembly be no less then 23 and no more than 28, another was that there be 9 Noble's Representatives and 14 Peoples Representatives.

Cabinet has suggested establishing a Parliamentary Tri-partite Committee to consider the various possible routes and then report back to the House next year.

Lopeti Senituli, an advisor to Dr Sevele, says Parliament closes next month and will not re-open until May next year.

He says that should be enough time for the government committee to hold talks with various parties.

"The tri-partite committee members are free to consult with their specific constituencies and with anyone else for that matter, and also seek the advice of the acting chairperson of the National Committee for Political Reform."