30 Jul 2012

Tongan group wants national survey on constitutional questions

5:41 am on 30 July 2012

A Tongan group behind a petition that's critical of a motion for a vote of no confidence in the government wants a national survey to find out if the people want such a facility in their constitution.

The secretary of the women's group, Fakatouhama, Dr. 'Ana Koloto, says they feel the government, which came to power 18 months ago, has not been given enough time.

She says there is also a need for education on what a vote of no confidence is, because it is a new experience for the country.

Dr Koloto says they should also ask the people what they want in the constitution.

"If they believe that a vote of no confidence should not be part of the constitution, then Fakatouhama then ought to work to draft a bill, seek a member of Parliament to put forward this bill into Parliament so that we will perhaps take it out of the constitution, if it needs to be done."

The prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, is expected to continue the government's rebuttal of the motion in parliament today.