16 Sep 2006

Tonga's PM says don't be surprised by new King's decision to sell business interests

6:18 am on 16 September 2006

The Tongan Prime Minister says people should not be surprised by the new King's decision to sell his business interests in Tonga.

King Siaosi Tupou the V says he will dispose of businesses such as the company which controls the island's power and communications, because it is not fitting for a monarch.

The Prime Minister, Feleti Sevele says King Siaosi has recognised change is wanted and the sale of the Shoreline Group is a start.

The King was often criticised when he was the Crown Prince for his extravagant behaviour and ownership of the businesses.

Many people in Tonga are pleased by the announcement but say they still want political change and a modern monarchy.