26 Oct 2017

Signs in Tonga that more political reform is needed - Senituli

7:52 pm on 26 October 2017

A former government advisor and democracy advocate in Tonga says there are danger signs which point to the need for greater political reform in the country.

Lopeti Senituli

Lopeti Senituli Photo: RNZ/Koro Vaka'uta

Lopeti Senituli was speaking at the National Dialogue on Democracy in Nuku'alofa this week.

The forum comes three weeks before the elections, which were called by the King after he dissolved parliament amid concerns over the government's conduct.

Mr Senituli said Tonga had made great strides towards more democracy but he said the power the King wielded in dissolving parliament, needs to be reassessed.

"We need to revisit that prerogative to ensure that when His Majesty invokes that prerogative that it is done in consultation with the Prime Minister as opposed to what happened on the 25th of August, which was all done in secret and the Prime Minister was totally caught off guard as well as the acting Attorney-General and other key players."

Lopeti Senituli said there needed to be discussion around whether the King is above the rule of law.

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