1 Sep 2010

Tonga Government to require public servants to resign if they run for Parliament

2:53 pm on 1 September 2010

A proposed amendment to Tonga's Public Service Act will require public servants in Tonga contesting elections to resign first before registering as candidates.

The Prime Minister of Tonga and his Cabinet submitted their proposal to the King in Privy Council last week.

At the last election public servants were allowed to take leave of absence from their role and if successful in their election bid, they could then resign.

But now Viliami Afeaki, who works as an advisor the Prime Minister, says from a private citizens point of view, it's a conflict of interest and fairer they resign.

"This actually is to ensure that we have a public service that is not political. That once a public servant or a civil servant decides to run as a candidate they should resign and concentrate and focus on being the candidate."

Viliami Afeaki says the proposed amendment is due to be voted on in Parliament this month.

Tonga's general election is scheduled for November 25.