22 Mar 2019

Bills deemed 'urgent' in Tonga set for lengthy delay

9:14 am on 22 March 2019

A Tongan Noble MP says Tongans will get a chance to give their views on controversial bills the government has been trying to push through parliament under urgency.

Noble representative, Lord Fusitu'a.

Lord Fusitu'a Photo: RNZI

There have been a series of walkouts over the past fortnight as the 'Akilisi Pohiva's administration tries to get the bills through.

But the opposition, led by the nobles, say there must be consultation on bills that aim to limit the power of the King, and allow the government to appoint judges and the police commissioner.

While Mr Pohiva has previously talked of such reforms the only public consultations on these bills have been sessions on talk back radio.

The acting speaker has ordered the bills to go before the House Standing Committee on Legislation, and Noble MP, Lord Fusitu'a, says that process won't be complete before the House has to rise next Thursday.

"The public had approached the nobles and pleaded with us to be the conduits for their cries to parliament 'Please put it to parliament,' government refused and in the end justice works in mysterious ways. The public will get their say on these very questionable unconstitutional, constitutional changes."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs