16 Jun 2008

Tonga Government about to establish commission to consider political reform

4:50 pm on 16 June 2008

The Tonga Government is preparing to establish a commission to consider political reform, with the Privy Council giving its approval on Friday.

The Justice Minister and Attorney General, 'Alisi Taumoepeau, says this is a major achievement and reflects the Government's unequivocal support for a move towards a more democratic governance system for Tonga.

She says the bill will set up a commission to inquire into and report on proposals to

amend the Constitution and Electoral laws, including the reports of the

National Committee for Political Reform and Parliament's Tripartite Committee.

The commission would also draft bills to give effect to its recommendations, and establish a timetable and agenda for the review process with a view to elections being held under the new system in 2010.

'Alisi Taumoepeau says the commission faces a very tight timeframe, with its final report, recommendations and draft legislation due within ten months.