Democratic thinking

Articles on democracy in the independent online media

September 18, 2005

Fight for democracy continues

The historic public servants' strike in the south Pacific country of Tonga ended on September 3 after the government agreed to the strikers' demands for 60-80% rises in pay. A memorandum of understanding signed by representatives of the government and the Public Service Association also agreed that no disciplinary action would be taken against strikers, and that the salary review that led to the six-week strike be suspended for two years.

The PSA added a clause to the memorandum calling for a royal commission to be established immediately “to review the constitution to allow a more democratic government to be established”. While the government negotiators did not agree to the immediate establishment of a royal commission, they did accept that the issue of democracy was a serious concern to the strikers, and undertook to submit the PSA concerns to cabinet.

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