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King urged to step back from government

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 25, 2008) – Tonga's pro-democracy members of parliament are calling on the Island Kingdom's monarch to stand by his promise to step back from his influence over all aspects of the political system.

Pro democracy candidates won six of the nine Peoples Representatives seats in the Kingdom of Tonga's parliament.

It's a good result for the movement's leader, Akilisi Pohiva.

"I'm very pleased with the outcome of the election," he said

The win comes despite all its MPs facing sedition charges over the November 2006 riots, which destroyed central Nuku'alofa.

It's the last election before the constitution is changed, to allow a larger, restructured parliament, with most government ministers to be selected from elected MPs.

Currently the King appoints all government ministers.

But the pro democracy movement is worried His Majesty won't stand by his commitment, and it's calling on him to sign off on them, during his coronation in August.

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