19 Jul 2012

Radio Tonga rejects Democrats claim they are shut out of state media

7:26 pm on 19 July 2012

The general manager of Radio Tonga, Nanise Fifita, has dismissed claims by the opposition leader, Akilisi Pohiva, that his Democratic Party is being denied access to state media.

Mr Pohiva, whose party is trying to bring a vote of no confidence in the government, says they cannot put their case on state radio and television because of government interference.

He says it is like a police state.

But Ms Fifita says there is no basis to the allegation.

She says the Democrats have had a lot of exposure and they were only denied on one occasion this week because they discussed the content of a public petition that is yet to be tabled in Parliament.

"They are talking about a document but they kept on referring to the petition and the content of the petition submitted to the Office of the Legislative Assembly about two days ago. That petition is yet to be ready out officially read out in the House, submitted to the House and read out publicly."