27 Sep 2011

Tonga Democrats boycott Vava'u conference

4:20 pm on 27 September 2011

Tonga's Democratic Party MPs are boycotting a meeting on Vava'u called by the government to outline how it will set up an anti-corruption commission.

Such a commission has been allowed for under Tonga law for three years but so far the government has made little progress toward establishing it.

The planned three-day conference gets underway today but the opposition party MPs haven't travelled to Vava'u because they won't have a chance to speak on the issues.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the cost of the exercise is also a factor.

"It was the hope by government that Representatives would support it but it's not the case, and now Representatives have argued that Tonga has got a 30 million deficit budget and therefore to travel all the way to the outer islands to set and observe at a conference like that is a luxury."

Mateni Tapueluelu.