8 Nov 2006

Petition seeks dismissal of Tongan PM Sevele

8:08 pm on 8 November 2006

The Tongan government has received a petition calling for the dismissal of the prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the petition, which had been signed by hundreds of people, was from Tonga's business community.

"They were angered by a decision by the prime minister to close down some 20 bonded warehouses in Tonga, and that this affects them and is not helping to improve the economy of Tonga something that the government has been preaching. The government is saying there is a lot of corruption involved with bonded warehouses, and they need to close them down. But this week the government toned it down after some pressure saying they are not going to close down the bonded warehouses they are just going to review who should own bonded warehouses and who should not."

Mateni Tapueluelu says another petition will be presented to the government by a pro-democracy group which is unhappy with some of the announcements the government has made on political reform.