23 Nov 2010

Tonga unionist calls for limit on King's veto

2:31 pm on 23 November 2010

A Tongan trade union leader says the government to be elected on Thursday will need to quickly clarify the King's veto.

On Thursday the people will vote for 17 of the 26 MPs for the first time, with the 33 noble families choosing nine nobles representatives.

The Friendly Islands Teachers Association's, Finau Tutone, a long-time advocate for democratic change, welcomes the progress being made but says there are some matters that have to be cleared up.

He says this includes the need for a limit on the right of King George Tupou the 5th to veto legislation.

"When the Parliament pass any law it has to be signed by the King to become law. That is another clouded issue for democracy because I think there must be something in the law - how many times the King refuses to sign for the law before democratic [principles come into play] and force him to sign. Like what is happening in Great Britain."