24 Nov 2006

Leading pro-democracy MP in Tonga says King made a good speech

6:21 am on 24 November 2006

King George Tupou V of Tonga closed parliament for the year yesterday with a speech aimed at healing the divisions that sparked the destructive rioting a week ago.

He says Tongans have become prisoners in their own homes, but he promised that the capital would be rebuilt and that reconstruction plans would soon be announced.

The King also said the various proposals for political reform before parliament all have the same ultimate aim of a more democratic form that appropriate to Tonga.

The leading pro democracy MP, Akilisi Pohiva, says it was a good speech.

"He was calling for collective work, he appealed to the people to stand together and then work together to build up the economy of the country, apart from that the law is there and it is the responsibility of the Minister of Police you to get all those people who were involved in the crisis and that is good. But for me, it was a good speech."