23 Oct 2006

Tongan petition seeks dismissal of PM Sevele

2:32 pm on 23 October 2006

A group of business people in Tonga has organised a petition to the King demanding the dismissal of the Prime Minister Feleti Sevele.

The petition voices strong opposition to the government's response to the National Committee for Political Reform's recently presented proposals.

One of the petition's organisers, Sione Simiki, says everybody had models for reform but were prepared to wait for the Committee to collect the range of views and present its report first.

But he says Dr Sevele, with proposals to give new powers to the Prime Minister, has simply disregarded that report:

"And suddenly he came up from out of the blue and said that this is a new model, there's a problem with the other ones. And it's really against everything that people hoped for. On Saturday night, some of the MPs came out and said they're against it, they won't accept it. So there will be a lot of activities against this in coming days."

Sione Simiki says the government proposal for some Ministers to be able to be appointed from outside parliament defeats the purpose of reform.