Tonga Referendum On Women’s Convention Unprecedented

admin's picture

PM asks public to weigh in on ratification decision

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 15, 2015) – The Director of the Women and Children Crisis Centre in Tonga says a planned referendum on whether to ratify a UN Convention, will be the first of its kind ever held in the country.

Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva says the referendum on ratifying the anti-discimination convention known as CEDAW, will be held after a public consultation exercise.

Thousands protested after cabinet announced earlier this year its intention to ratify CEDAW, expressing concern that it will allow same sex marriage and abortion.

The Privy Council has told the government to reconsider its decision but Mr Pohiva says it's a matter for the public to decide.

Ofa Guttenbeil-likiliki says CEDAW is bringing interesting times to the new era of democracy in Tonga.

"We don't have a legal framework to allow for a referendum, so we'd have to have that in place first. And it will be the first of its kind in Tonga's history so it's interesting times. We'll just have to see how it pans out."

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment