9 Jun 2010

Tonga grooms candidates for November poll

1:25 pm on 9 June 2010

Tonga's pro-democracy movement says it's close to formally naming its candidates for the election in November.

Its leader, Akilisi Pohiva, says most of its current MPs will be seeking re-election but the group is expecting to name a New Zealand-based Tongan and two women as candidates.

People in Tonga will this year be voting for 17 of the 26 members of Parliament, although nine nobles will still be elected by the 33 noble families.

Mr Pohiva says the movement welcomes the election after 20 years of fighting for democracy but is aware other groups will also be eager to get their people into Parliament.

"And each group is now begininng to go out and campaign for the elections and it is entirely up to each group to select its canddiate. Our group is still working on that. We are still in the process of trying to get our candidates."

Akilisi Pohiva, the leader of Tonga's pro-democracy movement.