7 Jul 2006

Campaigner promises pro-democracy push will continue in Tonga despite Prince's death

3:20 pm on 7 July 2006

Pro-democracy campaigners in Tonga say the movement for political reform will go on despite the death of Prince Tu'ipelehake.

The King's nephew - who worked with commoners towards democratic reform - was killed in a car accident in San Francisco last night with his wife Princess Kaimana.

The two were killed when a teenage driver hit their vehicle at high speed at Menlo Park near Palo Alto.

MP Akilisi Pohiva, who is the chairman of People's National Committee for Political Reform, says that the crown prince was close to the commoners and the nation is in shock.

But he says his legacy will live on.

"Even though the movement has lost him, I think the process will continue on, no-one can stop it because the majority of people here in Tonga are quite prepared to work together to make change happen as soon as possible."

Akilisi Pohiva.

The prince was in America to speak with expatriates in his role as the head of the Select Committee for Political Reform,