Tonga's Police Commissioner says the promotion by merit system is a key grievance among officers who signed a petition calling for his removal.
Chris Kelley says he's now had three meetings with concerned officers and seen the petition submitted to Cabinet almost a month ago.
Mr Kelley says promotion by merit is part of the new Tonga Police Act and if offficers want to appeal against a particular decision there's a procedure under the act to follow.
"And I have received a couple of those applications today whereby people are effectively reviewing or appealing against a decision and they'll be referred to the Police Board for consideration and of course I'm obliged to comply with whatever the direction of the Police Board is."
Commissioner Chris Kelley says he still doesn't know if the petition was driven by politicans but he's surprised the issues it raises haven't surfaced earlier in the two and a half years he's been in Tonga.