12 Nov 2014

Accountability push in Tonga election

9:26 am on 12 November 2014

Three weeks out from elections in Tonga, the Democratic Party says it will be pushing for the next Cabinet to comprise only politicians elected by the people.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Tonga Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva. Photo: RNZ

Tonga's governments have always been dominated by the nobility and the Lord Tu'ivakano administration over the past four years has been no exception.

The Democrats leader, Akilisi Pohiva, says this is something the democracy movement has been pushing for more than 30 years.

He says it would ensure accountability to the people, which is vital for the country if it is to make progress on issues like governance and economic development.

"Accountability is very important. Members of Cabinet have to be accountable to the people and now we have split accountability. The Prime Minister as a member of Parliament, as a member of the nobility - he was elected by the nobles - he is not accountable to the people."

Akilisi Pohiva says the Democrats will also want a law change to have the nobles elected by the people.

Full interview