20 Mar 2012

Academic defends new Tonga King's performance as prime minister

5:02 pm on 20 March 2012

A Pacific academic says people are unlikely to remember the new Tongan King's time as Prime Minister once he assumes his royal role.

An adjunct professor of political science at the University of Canterbury, Ian Campbell, says Tupouto'a Lavaka's short time as Prime Minister was controversial, but that wasn't his fault.

"In pre-reform days, the Prime Minister had very little latitude, Tupou IV was a rather autocratic character, and kept government in his own hands. So I don't think Lavaka's experience as Prime Minister would enter into people's perception of him now as King at all."

Ian Campbell.