12 Jul 2006

Tonga's royal funeral won't delay by-election

3:13 pm on 12 July 2006

A by-election in Tonga planned for next week will go ahead despite the preparation for the royal funeral of Prince Tu'ipelehake and Princess Kaimana Tuku'aho.

The couple died in a motor accident in the US last week.

Their bodies are expected to be flown to Tonga on Thursday next week when a by-election in Ha'apai is to take place.

The Matangi Tonga website says the by-election will proceed as scheduled.

It also says that a planned parliamentarians' tour of the kingdom will be postponed because of the funeral due to be held on July the 21st.

The assembly will also remain closed after an earlier adjournment to celebrate the king's 88th birthday last week.