30 Apr 2009

Tongan MP fears political reform delays

6:46 pm on 30 April 2009

A pro-democracy MP in Tonga says there are growing concerns that political reforms will not happen next year as the government has promised.

Clive Edwards says with the delays in getting the Commission on Constitutional and Electoral Reform in place, the Government has almost ensured there's not enough time for its recommended changes to be put in place so a poll can be held next year.

Mr Edwards says after starting late, in January, it has until November to complete its work, but ideally the Government should have it begin reporting back to Parliament next month.

"Are they going to still commit themselves to the change next year and ensure that the Commission brings up its timely reports and have the Parliament consider the legislation, or are they going to leave the legislation until next year. That's a big issue at the moment - when is legislation going to come up, if there has been no report before Parliament sits at the end of next month [May]."

Clive Edwards