17 Nov 2009

Tonga women's activist says work of Commission on democracy was rushed

8:47 am on 17 November 2009

A Tonga women's activist, Ofa Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki, says the work of the Constitutional and Electoral Commission on greater democracy was too rushed.

The Commission made public its report last week and its recommendations, which would take Tonga towards a Westminister system of government, are to be considered from this week by the Legislative Assembly.

But Ms Guttenbeil Likiliki, who heads the Tonga Women's and Children's Crisis Centre, says not enough time was spent on the issues and this led the Commission to ignore the call for temporary seats for women MPs.


When the Commission went out into the communities and held consultations they did a quick one to two hour overview of all the submissions and then asked the people if they agreed or not. So they wouldn't have strong support for the submissions made by the women's organisations because they don't really understand the whole framework around temporary measures and affirmative action.

Ofa Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki.