16 Mar 2005

Tongan citizens in US seeking chance to vote in kingdom's elections

2:41 pm on 16 March 2005

In the United States, the National Tongan American Society says it's looking at how it can convince the kingdom to give the vote to Tongan citizens living in America.

The society's executive director, Fahina Tavake-Pasi, says they're looking at asking Tonga to give the vote to its citizens who've been living in the US for less than five years.

Ms Tavake-Pasi says there's widespread support amongst Tongans in the US, for the pro-democracy movements in Tonga.

"Many of the Tongans are very much, in the States, are very much in agreeance with the democracy views, and of course maybe perhaps that has something to do with living out here in the States; I have no idea. The view where the government gives voice to the people of Tonga, to determine how they would like to be governed."

Meanwhile a Tongan community representative in Australia says there's support there for keeping the political status quo in Tonga.