18 May 2009

Reform is going as planned, says Tonga PM

7:08 pm on 18 May 2009

Tonga's Prime Minister, Feleti Sevele, has dismissed claims that the process of political reform is being hampered by the government.

Next month, Tonga's Constitutional and Electoral Commission is due to table its first report on recommended political reforms in parliament.

However pro-democracy MP Clive Edwards says that because the Commission's work was delayed, the Government has almost ensured there's not enough time for its recommended changes to be put in place for general elections next year.

But Dr Sevele says reform is going according to the programme which aims to have changes in place before the polls.

"I don't believe that there have been any undue delays. It's just people wanting to put a different perspective on it. And of course now, I guess the most important change that's going to happen is his Majesty voluntarily relinquishing some of his constitutional powers."

Tonga's Prime Minister Feleti Sevele