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Tonga: Democracy campaigners warn of more trouble

Pro-democracy campaigners in Tonga warn of more trouble if latest petition ignored

Pro-democracy campaigners in Tonga have warned that there could be further trouble if their latest petition to the King is ignored.

An estimated 5000 demonstrators broke through a police line in the capital of Nuku’alofa yesterday during a march sparked by calls for political reform.

A stand-off between the police and the crowd developed as anger spilled over on the day when parliament was officially opened.

The People’s National Committee for Political Reform, which led the march, wants to force a parliamentary debate on the issue.

It’s chairman, Akilisi Pohiva, hinted that there could be further unrest if their pleas are ignored.

“And if the government will continue to hold on to power and will cease to make way for the changes, we may not be in a position to control the people.”

Mr Pohiva says a private bill will be submitted to the government to discuss amendments to the Constitution that were presented to the King last December.

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