22 Nov 2006

Pro-democracy MPs in Tonga still seeking talks with government

3:13 pm on 22 November 2006

The leading pro-democracy MP in Tonga, Akilisi Pohiva, says his group is still to trying to meet the government to set up a committee to start discussing the reconstruction of the country.

Mr Pohiva wants the New Zealand and Australian high commissions and the Commonwealth secretariat to facilitate talks with the government over the establishment of such a committee.

He says New Zealand and Australia need to be involved because they had helped with the reform survey begun by the late Prince Tu'ipelehake.

"And once they contributed they had become part of the process. Not only that but I think that simply because the prime minister and government of Tonga failed at this point of time to initiate something or call a meeting, someone else from the outside should do the initiation."

The closure of the Tonga parliamentary year, which was delayed by rioting in the capital last Thursday, will now take place tomorrow morning.

The prime minister's advisor, Lopeti Senituli, says it will be brief.

There is no discussion. It's just His Majesty making the closing speeech.