9 Jun 2010

Tonga PSA forms party ahead of November election

3:01 pm on 9 June 2010

Disenchanted members of Tonga's Public Servants Association have formed their own party to contest the November elections.

The Tongan Democratic Labor Party has broken away from the pro-democracy movement headed by Akilisi Pohiva.

The new party was launched on Tuesday and intends putting up candidates in all 17 constituents.

One of the eight founders of the party, Mele Amanaki, is the general secretary of the PSA.

She says the PSA and other workers had put their hopes in the nine People's Representatives who formed the Peoples Electoral Reform Committee after the 2005 strike by public servants.

But she says those MPs have failed to deliver.

"We've had many issues here in Tonga, like even the Ashika. When we had the Ashika there was only three MPS left in the committee and we had written to the committee three times over the years to please put down their differences and come back to the committee, so that we can work together. But the problem with that committee is that it's not registered and there's no rules where it would bind the MPs or the candidates."

Mele Amanaki of the PSA.