1 Sep 2010

Planned restriction on Tonga's public servants contesting election called unconstitutional

5:23 pm on 1 September 2010

The Tonga Democratic Labour Party is organising a petition against a proposed amendment to Tonga's Public Service Act that would affect any public servant contesting this year's election.

If passed by Parliament, the amendment would force public servants to resign first before registering as election candidates, rather than taking leave of absence.

The party's deputy chair, Mele Amanaki, says the move is unconstitutional.

"It will restrain the freedom of the public servants who are Tongan nationals to do what they want. Because in our constitution it allows Tonga nationals to do what they want, even at the political level. There is a lack of consultation with the public servants and what we are going to do is to submit a petition to Parliament not to accept this."

Mele Amanaki says there's a lot of public support for their petition.