21 Aug 2012

Tonga's Democrats get another chance to explain no confidence push

4:31 am on 21 August 2012

Tonga's opposition Democratic Party will get its chance today to tell the Legislative Assembly why the Government should go - two months after it first brought a motion for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister Lord Tu'ivakano.

The Democrats were to start presenting their argument yesterday but leader, Akilisi Pohiva, says the Government used its superior numbers to stop them going ahead.

Don Wiseman reports.

"The Democrats have been frustrated at every turn in their efforts to explain why they could form a better government, and the drawn out saga has riled many, including the Speaker, Lord Fakafanua, who called a meeting at the end of yesterday to try and resolve it. That meeting, involving Lord Tu'ivakano, his deputy, the chairman of the House and Mr Pohiva, agreed that from today, the Democrats would put their case, but 3 of their 17 points would not be presented. These covered contentious criticism of senior government members that is already under investigation by a House sub committee. Mr Pohiva says he thinks it will take the Democrats two days to put their case before any vote can be held, but the Democrats chances of success are slim, given one of their MPs has already crossed the floor and another is ill in hospital."