AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: TONGANS SUPPORT DEMOCRACY

admin's picture

Australia to strongly support electoral reform

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 4, 2009) – Australia's Foreign Minister says he has found unanimous support in Tonga for the country's electoral reform process.

But there are doubts the process will be completed in time for elections as promised next year.

During his first visit to Tonga, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith also announced new police cars and police training for the Pacific nation, in conjunction with New Zealand.

There will also be extra education aid to Samoa, including school fee relief for struggling parents.

Strong support

Mr. Smith says Australia strongly supports the move to a more broadly based electoral system for the country.

"We have to wait for the Tongan political leadership, the Tongan people to determine that framework," he said.

As well as the lack of aid coordination, the impact of the global recession and Fiji have been major issues for the minister's visit.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment