23 Jul 2012

Tonga PM defends his government from allegations in no confidence motion

1:11 pm on 23 July 2012

Tonga's nobility will next week choose a replacement for Lord Lasike, the former Speaker, who was barred from Parliament last week after being convicted of a criminal charge.

The new Speaker, Lord Fakafanua, has been formally installed as parliament resumed this morning.

The Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano has been defending his government against an opposition push for a vote of no confidence.

The opposition claims the government has lost the trust of the people, is unstable and has failed to lead and control the country's development.

Our correspondent Katalina Tohi reports that in a long letter he is reading to the Assembly, Lord Tu'ivakano has dismissed the allegations.

"And he is saying that since he came into power in 2011 they have been trying to see how to improve, particularly with government issues, and then at the same time, to upgrade the living standards of the people and then he named all the development projects, including the solar power project that is to be officially opened by His Majesty tomorrow."

Katalina Tohi in Tonga.