7 Jun 2007

Tonga PSA says reforms possible before next year's election

2:14 pm on 7 June 2007

The Tonga Public Servants Association says political reform can easily be put in place in time for next year's general election.

The prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, has said that, in his view, the changes could not be completed before the poll.

Dr Sevele says the government wants the three options for reform assessed by a tripartite parliamentary committee which would then report back to the other MPs.

But Mele Amanaki of the PSA says there is no need for much debate because the plan of National Committee for Political Reform put forward following the extensive consultations of the late Prince Tu'ipelehake is all that is needed.

She says just a details need to be refined.

"It shouldn't take more than a month or two to do that. And if government really really wanted the reform to take place it would them two weeks to discuss that in Parliament. We don't see any reason why there should be extensive discussions in there because Australia and New Zealand have funded up to nearly half a million Tongan dollars for the public consultations."

Mele Amanaki