22 Dec 2010

Activist says Tonga has taken backward step on path to democracy

12:38 pm on 22 December 2010

A women's activist in Tonga says the election of Noble Tu'ivakano as prime minister shows little was achieved in last month's supposedly democratic elections.

The director of the Women's and Children's Crisis Centre, Ofa ki-levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki, says despite the international headlines about Tonga embracing greater democracy, it's back to square one with the nobles still in charge.

"Democracy is by the people for the people, and the hope was that the new prime minister would be accountable to the people because the people elected the prime minister into parliament, but it's a bit difficult now because we are back to how we ran before because it's a noble who's got the post of prime minister and he's not accountable to the people, really, he's only accountable to the 33 nobles who elected him in and the King of Tonga."