30 Mar 2012

Tonga's democrats to soon push for nobles to be elected by the people

3:20 pm on 30 March 2012

The Tongan opposition leader, Akilisi Pohiva, says his Democratic Party will decide in a couple of weeks when to seek additional reforms aimed at making all of the parliament accountable to the people.

The Democrats have made no secret of their intentions to continue pressing for more democracy after changes two years ago allowed for the majority of MPs to be elected by the people for the first time.

The 9 noble MPs continue to be elected only by the nobility but Mr Pohiva says the Democrats want all the people to vote for them.

He says this is the next stage in a reform process that will eventually see a fully democratic legislature.

"We want a fully elected government simply because we want a government which is accountable, we need to have a government which appreciates the rule of law and also a government which is transparent. This is what we want to see happen in the future. Under the current government there are still quite a few checks and balance mechanisms to be put in place."

Akilisi Pohiva says this includes the government's failure to appoint an anti-corruption commissioner.