24 Nov 2011

Tonga campaigner critical of first year of more democratic government

2:57 pm on 24 November 2011

A long time democracy campaigner in Tonga says the first year of greater democracy in the country has been a failure.

A year ago Tongans elected a parliament that for the first time included a majority of MPs elected by the people.

But publisher, Kalafi Moala, says the only difference that the new legislature has made in its first 12 months is that life in Tonga has got a lot worse.

He says the economy has deteriorated, corruption has flourished and the new leaders have failed to give the country a sense of vision and hope.

"There are absolutely no visible changes to anything. We are poorer for it over the last 12 months. Decisions that are made at the top level, people don't know about it. We wake up to find out that these have been made. So, in terms of looking at the kind of democracy that was instituted 12 months ago I would say it has really failed."

The publisher of the Taimi o Tonga, Kalafi Moala.