15 Oct 2009

Tonga King's private secretary confirms receipt of PM-sacking petition

8:16 pm on 15 October 2009

The King of Tonga's private secretary, David Dunkley, says he's received a petition calling for the Prime Minister and his deputy to be sacked.

The petition from the Tongan Women's National Congress is part of a wider protest action over what the organisation calls injustices and poor governance by Dr Feleti Sevele's administration.

The congress says these include the handling of the Princess Ashika disaster and the increasing number of crimes committed by men against women and children.

The petition's presentation comes as the head of the congress, Mele 'Amanaki, continues a protest fast which she started on Monday night.

Other women in the Tonga community are chain fasting.

Ms 'Amanaki says she'll continue without food and water until the petition is successful.

Mr Dunkley says the petition will now be given to a committee that will consider the issues and seek a response from those being challenged.

He says Ms 'Amanaki's hunger strike will not be a factor in determining the time that process takes.