7 Sep 2010

Another new political party emerges in Tonga as country prepares for 2010 elections

10:16 am on 7 September 2010

Another new political party has emerged as Tonga prepares for historic elections later this year.

The poll on the 25th of November will result in two thirds of the country's MPs being elected by the people for the first time.

The Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands is the fourth party to form in recent months but the first to announce candidates in all 17 electorates.

It includes several sitting MPs including the prominent democracy campaigner, Akilisi Pohiva.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu, says the candidates will be required to sign a commitment to improve the economic well-being of the people of Tonga.

"There is a clear shift from the political fight that they are used to, to now focus on economic and commercial development for the people of Tonga. So it's a slightly different area where they would have to focus on cutting down the Budget or expanding it where they can. They have indicated that that's their mission. Exactly how - the detail will follow later."