30 May 2007

Tonga's first Parliament session to focus on three key issues

7:38 am on 30 May 2007

Discussion on political reform, the ongoing state of emergency and the rebuilding of Nuku'Alofa are the three key issues expected to confront politicians when the Tonga parliament begins a new session tomorrow.

Several MPs, who are facing criminal charges arising from the rioting last November, are expected to be able to attend, with their preliminary hearings due to finish today.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says King George Tupou 5th is expected to raise the call political reform when he opens the session.

"The King made it clear in his closing of Parliament last year that the political dialogue between the government and the people should continue before government can make a final decision on that. This King is able to discuss political reform openly in comparison to the previous King, and we expect that he should be able to comment on the subject of political reform when he opens Parliament tomorrow."

That is our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu.