26 Aug 2004

Tongan royals order three ministers to quit - report

7:11 am on 26 August 2004

A reporter in Tonga says the royal family has asked three cabinet ministers to resign.

Mateni Tapueluelu from the Taimi o Tonga, says highly-placed sources have told them the police minister Clive Edwards, the commerce minister Dr Manasso Paunga and the justice minister Aisea Taumoepeau have all received letters asking them to resign.

Mr Tapueluelu says one minister has already handed in his notice.

"We have also been told by reliable sources that the minister of justice has resigned, because he was in mainland Tongatapu. The minister of police is currently in Vava'u. The minister of labour and commerce is 'Eua ."

The three members of parliament were unavailable for comment.