14 Apr 2005

Tonga's Human Rights Democracy movement not deterred by new breakaway party

3:18 pm on 14 April 2005

Tonga's Human Rights Democracy Movement says it won't be undermined by the formation of a new party called the People's Democratic Party.

The PDP, which is yet to be registered, is led by a former MP Teisina Fuko, and consists of breakaway members of the Movement.

One of the members of the new PDP, Professor Futa Helu, says that the Movement failed to carry out its mission to become a registered party.

But the Movement's most high profile member, Akilisi Pohiva, says it may not be a registered party but results from the recent election show the Movement's members have growing support in Tonga.

"We have been working as a party, as an unofficial party. We have been carrying out our parliamentary work as a party even though there is still no provision in the constitution for the establishment of a formal party. But the way we perform our duties as representatives of the people and members of parliament is very much like a party."

Akilisi Pohiva of the Human Rights Democracy Movement.