6 May 2005

Newly-elected Tonga MP says democratic reform is a key priority

12:45 pm on 6 May 2005

The former police minister in Tonga says democratic reform is a key priority for his party now he's won a by-election for a seat in the assembly.

Clive Edwards says his People's Democratic Party will work to wrest back some powers from royalty.

Mr Edwards says the government never explained the recently-introduced consumption tax, and that's led to public anger.

"We are set on pushing the reform and changing to a democratic system of government. That's a priority for our party."

Mr Edwards says his party isn't split from the Human Rights and Democracy Movement.

He says he'll work with the movement if it sticks to its political promises.

Meanwhile, yesterday's by-election saw a woman candidate, Lepolo Mahe Taunisila, win the seat for the two Niuas.

The by-elections were held to replace the two other popularly-elected MPs who were appointed to the cabinet after the general election in March.