28 May 2019

Planned changes more democratic - Tonga Govt

6:42 am on 28 May 2019

Planned reforms in Tonga will not diminish the authority of the King, the government says.

Lopeti Senituli

Lopeti Senituli Photo: RNZ/Koro Vaka'uta

The government has been pushing for legislative change that includes a separate agency to appoint judges, the police commissioner and attorney general.

Public consultations show strong support for the status quo, but government spokesperson Lopeti Senituli said the reforms were not about reducing the authority of King Tupou VI.

They are about creating a more democratic agency to make appointments to key posts, he said.

Establishing an independent Judicial Appointments Commission, would replace the current panel made up entirely of members of the Privy Council.

"Who are His Majesty's nominees," Mr Senituli said.

"Whereas a commission would include, for example, the president of Tonga Law Society. It will also include the secretary for justice and a member of the public who has good legal standing."

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