24 Oct 2011

Push to further extend democracy in Tonga

3:14 pm on 24 October 2011

Democrats in Tonga are pressing for parliament to have the noble MPs elected by the people.

It's one year since a greater degree of democracy was embraced in Tonga with the people electing the majority of MPs directly for the first time.

But the historic practice of the 33 noble families choosing the nine noble MPs was retained.

Last week parliament was presented with three reports calling for the people to have a say in which nobles become MPs.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu, says there's was little discussion in the legislature when the reports were presented but he says this will change.

"It appears that it is the beginning of a new social talk, of a new language for democratic reform in Tonga. It's not the end of it, it's the start of it and we have got three more years before the next election. It could be the deciding factor in the next election."