5 Jan 2011

Warning Tonga's Democrats could still walk away from new cabinet

7:32 pm on 5 January 2011

The Democratic Party of Friendly Islands in Tonga has indicated that the door is still open for it to walk away from the country's new cabinet, despite its acceptance of ministerial positions.

Party leader Akilisi Pohiva and Isileli Pulu have accepted portfolios in the new cabinet which has now met for the first time.

The party had objected that it should have more than two cabinet ministers because it won 12 out of 17 constituencies open for democratic elections.

It also opposed the appointment of two people from outside parliament to the cabinet.

But new tourism minister Isileli Pulu says the party decided to try to work within the cabinet for the overall benefit of the Tongan people - for now.

"We are hoping to do, especially that's what our party have been discusssing, and we're prepared to work together. At the same time if we are not really satisfied with anything, we feel the door is still open, we have to go back and resign and things like that, and go back to our party."

Isileli Pulu says the first cabinet meeting went okay, although the party was told to stick to the agenda when it raised questions about its members of parliament.