13 Nov 2009

Tonga political party says effective opposition key to democracy move

5:42 pm on 13 November 2009

A Tonga political party, the Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa, is to hold a conference next month to plan for elections next November, following recommendations that could almost double the number of democratically elected MPs.

The Constitutional and Electoral Commission says there should be 17 People's Representatives rather than the current nine, along with nine Nobles, a Prime Minister elected by the Assembly and a Cabinet of 11 chosen from these MPs.

Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa's Paula Lavulo, who is presently Auckland based, says a key aim of their party will be to help establish a genuine opposition.

"That's why we formed the party because, I think, we believe that democracy really - mone of the cornerstones of democracy is effective political parties, and that is why we formed the party earlier on. And of course we are hoping to make enough numbers to be in Government, but if not we will go into Opposition and make sure there is an effective Opposition."