TONGA LAWMAKER WARY OF CABINET PLAN

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 20) – The leader of the Tongan Human Rights and Democracy Movement, Akilisi Pohiva, is reportedly seeking a meeting with the kingdom’s crown prince to talk about positions in cabinet.

The democracy movement holds eight of the nine people’s representatives seats in parliament after last week’s election.

The Tongan King has promised to appoint two of these nine people’s representatives to his cabinet.

But Mr Pohiva has told the Australian Associated Press that the movement wants more details before it accepts the proposal.

The news agency reports that the government is understood to want by-elections to fill the vacancies created by the proposed cabinet appointments.

But it reports Mr Pohiva as saying if a commoner is sacked from the cabinet he should be able to return to the parliament as a member of parliament.

[Meanwhile, Radio Australia reports that four cabinet appointments are to be named this week, two of them from among the popularly elected People’s Representatives elected last week.]

March 21, 2005

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

 

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