21 Nov 2006

Tonga pro-democracy MP says leadership has failed after riot

5:33 pm on 21 November 2006

The leading pro-democracy MP in Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva, says there has been a failure of leadership in the country in the four days since the rioting in Nuku'alofa.

The pro-democracy MPs had earlier called for an interim government to be set up, but Mr Pohiva says he has not heard from the prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, since the rioting.

Mr Pohiva says further violence is possible and the government needs to call all parties together to discuss what steps should be taken.

"After Thursday's riot, up to now, four days have gone and still there has been no action on the part of government to set up a committee, either a national committee or a parliamentary committee where all parties can sit down and start discussing appropriate steps to be taken as we move on to the future."

Mr Pohiva says he plans approach the high commissioners of Australia and New Zealand to seek their support for such a meeting.

He says the commonwealth secretary general Don McKinnon could also help.