26 May 2005

March organiser says protest still on in Tonga

10:14 am on 26 May 2005

An organiser of a march in Tonga says it will still go ahead today, despite a government anouncment addressing some of the protesters concerns.

On the eve of the march, the government proposed to lower power prices for three months.

Thousands of people were expected to march on parliament over high electricity charges.

The Democracy Movement organised the protest and called for the power supply to be taken from the Shoreline company which is partly owned by the Crown Prince.

Pro-Democracy MP Akilisi Pohiva, says the announcement is a stalling tactic.

"For them to wait until the last minute, it is an attempt to mislead the public. The thing is, they said that they are willing to return the electric power back to government together with a package. There is no details of the package. They should have made it clear to the public, what the package is all about."

The government says the march will disrupt a parade by school children, despite the march being scheduled for the parades' conclusion.

The Mormon church has also spoken out against the march.