15 Nov 2006

Tongan activists demand immediate assembly vote for reform

8:13 pm on 15 November 2006

Pro-democracy campaigners in Tonga want the assembly to vote for political reform before parliament closes for the year tomorrow.

The activists have been camped outside the assembly to push for a binding vote that full democratic reforms will be enacted ahead of the 2008 elections.

The demand is being resisted by the government which says such change cannot be made before 2009.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the impending closure of the assembly has raised tension.

"People are speaking not only against the leaders and ministers, but they are speaking against the king himself and the royal house. They are talking about revolution."

Mateni Tapueluelu