8 Apr 2010

Tonga Cabinet rejects recommendations from boundary commission

8:14 pm on 8 April 2010

A pro-democracy MP in Tonga says Cabinet has rejected the proposals put forward by a commission set up to determine electoral boundaries so it can have an equal number of votes in each constituency.

The government set up the Boundaries Commission after rejecting the reforms proposed by another government-appointed body, the Constitutional and Electoral Commission.

Akilisi Pohiva of the People's Committee for Political Reform says Cabinet has rejected the three options put forward by the Boundaries Commission, opting instead to have 17 constituencies with a roughly equal number of votes.

"Take for example Niua, under the goverment proposal it will have no representative. Niua will be one of the constituencies in Tongatapu. A group of islands in Ha'apai will move to Tongatapu. In order for government to be able to have an equal share or almost an equal number of votes, this is how they do it."

Akilisi Pohiva, the number one People's Representative on Tongatapu.