8 Oct 2012

Tonga government beats no-confidence vote

8:04 pm on 8 October 2012

The motion for a vote of no-confidence in the Tongan government was finally tested this afternoon, but was rejected by a 13-11 majority.

The Democratic Party first put forward the motion more than three months ago for the prime minister Lord Tu'ivakano and his cabinet to step down.

The opposition leader Akilisi Pohiva says the government has lost the backing of the people and has breached the constitution by misappropriating funds.

He says goverment ministers and nobles combined to vote against the motion but says there are still other options open to the party to file criminal and civil court action.

"There are constitutional provisions and law we can use to take the prime minister to court. There is a possiblity for us to file a criminal proceeding against the prime minister."

Akilisi Pohiva says the opposition is likely to meet this week to decide whether it will pursue other avenues.