20 Aug 2012

Tonga government urged to look at no-confidence procedure

10:21 am on 20 August 2012

A former attorney-general of Tonga says the political stand-off in parliament is the fault of the previous government for not taking proper advice.

John Cauchi, who was Tonga's attorney-general from 2009 to 2010, says the impasse is due to the problem that a motion of no confidence can be moved by only one member of the assembly, and without the leave of the house.

The government has defended its record for weeks and the debate will continue today with opposition leaders making their case.

Mr Cauchi says a better procedure for votes of no confidence should have been provided for by the previous government, and that it would not take much to solve the problem.

"The present Government has been lumbered with this, because the previous government was not in my view a government which was amenable to receiving advice, and that can be quite easily rectified by the present attorney, who is an expert draftsman, to draft a procedure for the moving of a motion of no confidence."