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Tonga King criticises parliament over illegal drug crisis

Wednesday 22 September 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional, Tonga

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Tonga King criticises parliament over illegal drug crisis
The Tonga Parliament in session. Photo: Tonga Parliament

In Tonga, the King has again criticised Parliament, this time over what he sees as a lack of effort in combatting the drug threat, and a lack of accountability and communication on what the government's doing.

In May, 'Aho'eitu Tupou VI, was critical of MPs when this year's parliament session opened, questioning their honesty and their ability to run the government.

Our correspondent in Nuku'alofa, Kalafi Moala, said this week the King again found a number of faults with parliament.

"He was quite concerned of the fact that the country is still very much overrun with the drug trade and very little has been done about it particularly from parliament in terms of legislation and things like that," Kalafi Moala said.

Kalafi Moala said in the past speeches in parliament by monarchs were very formal and not controversial at all.

"But this King it is the first time that we here in Tonga have heard him refer to specific things, express disappointment and basically lifted the bar in challenging members of parliament to perform. That's the first time - it's kind of woken up the nation," Kalafi Moala said.