30 Sep 2011

Tongan government critical of opposition in anti-corruption drive

12:46 pm on 30 September 2011

The Tongan government has taken a swipe at pro-democracy MPs for boycotting a meeting in Vava'u to discuss anti-corruption initiatives.

The deputy prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, says the remaining MPs and ombudsmen from around the region held a productive meeting, and he says an anti-corruption commissioner should be appointed by the middle of next year.

The boycotting MPs were unhappy at the public money involved in staging the meeting in Vava'u and their lack of speaking rights.

But Mr Vaipulu says they need such meetings are needed if the rules of good governance, demanded by a more democratic system, are to be put in place.

"And they should have known from the beginning that there's money needed for all this [democracy]. And now we have it here, well, we will still go ahead. We have to do our anti-corruption and ombudsman and try and see how best we can do it. We won't wait."