16 Oct 2008

Tonga critical of Pacific voting in WHO contest

2:10 pm on 16 October 2008

Tonga says a recent withdrawal of support for its candidate for a World Health Organisation post was unfair.

Tonga's, Dr Viliame Tangi, lost out to a South Korean candidate for the Western Pacific WHO Regional Director's post at a recent meeting in Manila.

This comes after regional leaders gave a formal commitment to Dr Tangi at the Pacific Islands Forum leaders' meeting in Niue, but some members are then reported to have switched their backing.

The prime minister's chief secretary, Eseta Fusitua, says the issue needs to be addressed.

"When you have an election where your stand as a world power and your financial strength goes in and becomes party in an election process and succeeds in doing so, the casualty there is the fairness of good governance and the processes of good governance."

Eseta Fusitua says this also shows a lack of loyalty and has corrupted the election process.