9 Nov 2010

Checks and balances on government a priority for veteran Tongan politician

2:55 pm on 9 November 2010

Tonga's Friendly Islands Democratic Party says building checks and balances into the public sector will be a priority should it be successful in this month's elections.

The party leader and long-time People's Representative, Akilisi Pohiva, says before they can boost the struggling economy, the system needs to be functioning properly.

He says under the current government the rule of law is not working properly.

Mr Pohiva says any new administration would need to make sure that the rule of law is supreme.

"We must also have an anti corruption commission. We already passed a law but we still have to get someone to appoint a commissioner. This is another check and balance mechanism. We can set up a public account committee - we don't have a public account committee. And media must be very strong. We must make sure that the independence of media is there all the time."