29 Jun 2012

Four-day delay in holding Tonga no confidence vote

6:36 am on 29 June 2012

A planned vote of no confidence in the government of Tonga's Prime Minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, has been put back four days - to next Monday.

The opposition Democratic party had brought the motion, claiming the Prime Minister lacked control over his government and MPs flouting the law.

It also says the economic growth and development of Tonga depends on the people's trust and the government has lost this.

The government sought 14 days to prepare a written response to the claims but the Speaker, Lord Lasike, has agreed to four days.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says it is a compromise for both groups of MPs.

"In 14 days there will be a Royal Wedding for the Crown Prince and the interpretation of many people here is that the vote of no confidence would be further delayed by then. That is not happening, in fact, when the Speaker made his decision of just 4 days we could hear cheering and clapping, so people interpret it as a victory."