1 Jun 2010

Lack of integrity in government prompts former Tongan cabinet minister to stand

10:55 am on 1 June 2010

A former Tonga Justice Minister and Attorney General has become one of the first to formally announce her candidacy for the November elections.

Alisi Taumoepeau, who lost her posts after clashing with the Prime Minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, over what she saw as interference in judicial appointments, says she wants to restore integrity to government.

While electorate boundaries are still to be announced Tongans are already lining up to contest the first poll under constitutional amendments which allow for the majority of MPs to be elected by the people.

Mrs Taumoepeau says she is part of a new political movement which is focussing on integrity.

"I would just like to go back and do what I wanted to do and the two things that I want to bring back are integrity and rule of law."

Mrs Taumoepeau says integrity is about honesty, fairness, accountability and justice.

She says its absence will lead distrust and fear, which will undermine Tongan society.