- News : Climate change is 'no laughing matter', Fiji's PM Frank Bainimarama tells Australia during Scott Morrison's Pacific trip [18/01/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Bainimarama commends Australian counterpart for historic visit [18/01/2019 - Fiji]
- News : Stage set for referendum on Bougainville's future [18/01/2019 - Papua New Guinea]
- News Feature : Why are we contemplating saddling the Pacific with more debt? [18/01/2019 - Fiji]
- News Feature : Morrison’s Vanuatu trip shows the government’s continued focus on militarising the Pacific [18/01/2019 - Vanuatu]
- Sports News : NRL teams to play trial matches in Pacific nations [18/01/2019 - Fiji]
- Business News : Affordable, Faster Connectivity for Tuvalu [18/01/2019 - Tuvalu]
- Business News : Samoa Airways signs new Boeing deal [16/01/2019 - Samoa]
- Business News : Dubai Chamber hosts Kiribati President in effort to boost bilateral ties [16/01/2019 - United Arab Emirates]
- Business News : More features on ANZ Pacific App announced [16/01/2019 - Samoa]
- Sports News : Tere-Apisah eyes Fed Cup [16/01/2019 - Papua New Guinea]
- Sports News : Baber believes fans should think twice [16/01/2019 - Fiji]
- Sponsored : Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC)
Tongans need to decide how or if democracy fits the country's culture and society, the head of the Kingdom's newest political party says.
Siamelie Latu is president of the People's National Party that was launched over the weekend.
Latu is a retired army colonel and diplomat, who said the party would focus on traditional Tongan values, aiming for "peace and prosperity”.
It was good to have another party examining how the current government, led by Democratic Party leader 'Akilisi Pohiva, was operating,Latu said.
The other two political parties in Tonga probably had a different view of democracy, he said.
“We believe that democracy is not in our roots,” Latu said.
“One thing that we Tongans should always remember is that no one else knows what is best for us, other than ourselves,” he said.
“We all talk about democracy but we do not know what it looks like. It has a different shape and a different colour for different countries.”
Tonga has experienced a number of political dramas over the last few years, including a no confidence motion, petitions against the government and the 2017 dissolution of parliament.
Latu said unity was desperately needed.
“The establishment of this party is to bring Tonga together because we know that as far as we are concerned now, people are confused, people are split,” he said.
The party would reconfirm Tonga's “special identity” as “God and Tonga” while "maintaining the rule of the monarchy in the constitution".
“We in the party believe that christian belief is to lead the performance of the party,” Latu said.
“We also aim at maintaining our Tongan values which I think is a bit disintegrated at this stage,” he said.
“Tongan society is guided by four core values. First is mutual respect. Second is sharing, cooperating and fulfillment of mutual obligation. Thirdly is humility and generosity and last is loyalty and commitment,” Latu said.
Lawyer Sione Fonua and former finance minister 'Aisake Eke were two of the 11 members currently registered with the new party, he said.
“We will seek a peaceful and harmonious transformation to create a more progressive Tonga with a higher quality of life for all Tongans,” he said.... PACNEWS
SOURCE: RNZ PACIFIC/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
Media Helping Media