LAWSUIT AGAINST TONGA LEGISLATURE WITHDRAWN

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 14) – The case over whether the Opening of Tonga’s Legislative Assembly by the Princess Regent Pilolevu earlier this month was legal has been withdrawn.

The civil action by Tonga’s Noble Lasike and eight People’s Representatives, claimed the constitution calls for the king to open Parliament.

But, the group has now submitted in writing their wish to not continue their court action.

The lawyer for the group, Clive Edwards says the decision was agreed to by all of those who filed the charges.

He says the point of who is wrong and who is right will be addressed later.

But, he says the fact is, the people’s representatives need to look at one of the most important issues in the House, which is the Budget estimates.

The claim was filed with the Supreme Court on June 6 by eight People's Representatives, and one Noble's Representative.

[PIR editor’s note: According to PIR files, Clive Edwards, a lawyer, and the Tongatapu No. 3 People's Representative, filed a writ with the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court on June 6 claiming that, "the current Session has not been legally opened in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom of Tonga, specifically Section 17 of the Legislative Assembly Act 1915 Cap. 4." A civil action was brought by the Noble Lasike and eight People's Representatives against the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, and the Kingdom of Tonga, calling for the closure of the Tongan Legislature

June 15, 2006

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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