23 Jan 2006

Deadline passes in Tonga in constitutional change debate

11:35 am on 23 January 2006

Political reformers in Tonga say the deadline for a response to their proposed changes to the Constitution has now passed.

Matangi Tonga Online says the group has requested the King make some sort of reply by the middle of this month after presenting the proposals in early December.

The President of the National Reform committee, 'Akilisi Pohiva, said the group was now holding consultation talks with church leaders to present their case.

The King left Tonga suddenly for New Zealand just before Christmas for medical reasons.

He is still in Auckland and palace officials say it is unclear when the 87 year old monarch will return home.