RADIO NEW ZEALAND INTERNATIONAL (5:03 pm, 6 September 2017)
A prominent NGO head in Tonga has called for a national forum on the events of the past week.
Drew Havea is Chair of the Civil Society Forum, the National Leadership Development Forum and National Youth Congress. Mr Havea is also former Board Chair of the Pacific Islands Association of Non Governmental Organisations (PIANGO).
Last month parliament was dissolved by royal decree and early elections were called.
The move was spurred by an approach to the King by the Speaker of the House who held concerns over the government’s actions.
Drew Havea, who chairs both the Civil Society Forum and Leadership Development Forum, says the nation was not prepared for the dissolution and the issues it brought up.
Mr Havea said the national discussion needed to continue.
“To be able to discuss, to be able to have dialogue, to be able to have a national forum on some of these issues, is something we need to look at. That will show us the strength of our democracy and where we are going with our democracy.”
Mr Havea said the discussions should not be framed around a people versus the monarchy narrative as that is not the issue in Tonga.