22 Aug 2007

Tonga's tripartite committee considering political reform stuck on two key isssues

10:29 am on 22 August 2007

The pro-democracy MPs on Tonga's tripartite committee looking at political reform were forced to back- track on an agreement reached in talks yesterday.

The committee has until the sixth of September to report back to Parliament and is struggling on two key issues.

But yesterday it appeared they had reached consensus on one of these with the pro-democracy MPs compromising over the Government's wish for voting to be within constituencies rather than island wide.

However our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu, says, when the MPs reported this progress to their People's Committee for Political Reform, it was rejected.

"And the chairman of the committee Mr Akilisi Pohiva was forced to telephone the chairman of the tripartite committee, the Noble Luani, and tell him that what they had agreed to had been rejected by the people so therefore they had withdrawn what they had agreed to."

The second issue is when the reforms should be implemented with the pro-democracy MPs wanting this to happen in time for next year's election but the government favouring 2011.