1 Dec 2010

Tonga's Friendly Islands Democratic Party considers government of national unity

6:56 am on 1 December 2010

The party which won the bulk of the seats in last week's historic election in Tonga is considering a government of national unity.

The Friendly Islands Democratic Party won 12 seats and has the backing of one other of the 17 popularly elected MPs.

It has been in negotiations with two independents to try to form a majority but it's also calling the other peoples' representatives to join it in a meeting today to discuss forming a government.

In addition, our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says serious thought is being given to a government of national unity involving the nine nobles who'll also sit in the new parliament.

"There is a need to have one or two nobles in the cabinet to ensure that they do feel they are an integral part of Tonga, that we need them in order to maintain the peace for economic development to take place. Political stability can only be guaranteed if you have a representative from all the main political factions in Tonga and that is why the nobility cannot be ignored."

Mateni Tapueluelu.

One cabinet post will automatically go to the nobility with the Lands and Survey Ministry set aside for them by a late legislative change just prior to the election.