15 Oct 2008

Tonga electoral commission meetings not before January

3:41 pm on 15 October 2008

The Tonga government has indicated the Constitutional and Electoral Commission cannot sit before January next year at the earliest.

The body is to report back on the nature of political reforms needed ahead of planned early elections in 2010.

The Commission of five is yet to be named though the pro-democracy movement says its nominee is academic Dr Sitiveni Halapua.

The movement's spokesman, Dr Simote Vea, says the government needs to name its nominee so the Commission can begin its work or it will run out of time.

But the Tonga Broadcasting Commission reports Prime Minister, Dr Fred Sevele, as saying they have selected their representative, but are yet to release his or her name.

Dr Sevele says the government's nominee has accepted the nomination but will not be available until January.