Academic: Too Late In 2013 To Push Reforms In Tonga

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Says mid-term would have been better for Democratic Party

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 31, 2013) – An academic says democracy proponents in Tonga have probably left it too late to push for more reforms ahead of elections due in a year.

The Democratic Party’s effort to have the prime minister elected by the people was defeated recently but it is also planning a private member’s bill early next year to have the people elect the nobles’ representatives.

The director of the Pasifika Centre at New Zealand’s Massey University, Dr. Malakai Koloamatangi, says they are not new ideas and there is some popular support for them, but the Democratic Party may have run out of time to effect a change in this term.

"It is probably too late now to create anything that would have an impact on the election or something in place in time for the election. I think it is too late. I think mid term would have been a better time to have this," Koloamatangi said.

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