Proposals aimed at bringing greater democracy to Tonga have run into their first hurdle in the Legislative Assembly, with the Government pushing for Cabinet to retain some power over constitutional amendments.
The Constitutional and Electoral Commission last week made public its recommendations for more democracy and it says the constitutional amendments should be made with a two-thirds vote by the Assembly.
But as our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu reports the Government argues Cabinet should retain control over key changes to the constitution, such as those affecting the liberty of the Tongan people, land and the nobles' titles.
"The current procedure for changing or amending the constitution, are firstly parliament must vote and it must proceed to Cabinet, where they must unanimously agree to that amendment. For the People's Representatives that is too much of a block for a democratic government."