24 Nov 2011

Tonga government dismisses criticism, says it's done a good job in first year

8:22 pm on 24 November 2011

Tonga's deputy prime minister is defending his government, saying it's performed well in its first year, and the people are happy.

This comes one year after the country elected its first more democratic legislature.

A local commentator, publisher Kalafi Moala, says the government has achieved little, with the economy plummeting, corruption worsening, and it has failed to give the country a sense of vision and hope.

He said life for Tongans had got a lot worse in the past 12 months.

But the deputy prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, rejects the criticism.

He says the claims of corruption have no basis while the government is doing what it can with the economic problems it inherited.

"So far, so good. We have been doing all we can do with the limited resources that we have, and people are happy. They are travelling on better roads now. When we came into government this was the worst time ever roads had been. We have taken government money to repair the roads, so we are moving ahead."

Tonga's deputy prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu.