15 Dec 2009

Tonga PSA says government undermining reform

2:03 pm on 15 December 2009

Tonga's Public Servants Association claims the government is undermining attempts to make the country more democratic.

The Legislative Assembly is debating recommendations made by the Government's Constitutional and Electoral Commission, but Mele Amanaki of the PSA says the Cabinet is pushing to water these down.

She says if it succeeds, the reforms will be a disaster and put the people off democratic reform.

Ms Amanaki says a critical issue is the government's desire for single seat electorates rather than the recommendation that the previous multi-member seats be retained.

"It's not a good recommendation. We can learn from corruptions that had happened, say in Nauru years back - they subdivided and making the constituencies small for such small countries such as Tonga and Nauru in the Pacific, that gives the rich people the power to purchase the votes, and at the end it's a disaster."

Mele Amanaki of the PSA