10 Sep 2008

Anger in Tonga after emergency police powers put back in place

2:04 pm on 10 September 2008

A Tonga pro-democracy MP, Clive Edwards, says the Government is abusing process after it announced new emergency powers this week.

The new regulations which give wide powers to soldiers and police to detain and arrest, cover a bigger slice of the heart of the capital, Nuku'alofa, than the previous emergency powers which were allowed to lapse three weeks ago.

They had been rolled over each month since destructive riots in Nuku'alofa in November 2006.

Mr Edwards says the new powers are ridiculous and an unjustified attempt to frustrate the pro-democracy movement.

"It's a selfish stupid motive that is behind it. And they are not to be questioned, not to be disputed in what they are doing and not to revert back to civil law and constitutional rule. We are being denied that because they want absolute power and we don't have access to the TV and radio and things like that."