Tonga govt backs action by King over petitions

A spokesman for the Tonga government says action taken by King Tupou VI on Monday calling for investigations is what the prime minister had called for a month ago.

The King has ordered investigations by the Ombudsman Commission, the Attorney General's office and the police in the wake of petitions he had received calling for parliament to be dissolved.

Government spokesman Lopeti Senituli said when the petitions were first received in February Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva had given responses in a statement to allegations the petitioners made of mal-administration, nepotism and some ministers owing money.

"And the prime minister then suggested that if the petitioners were not happy with those responses then they should still submit their petition to the Ombudsman, to the Attorney General, Police Commissioner and the Auditor General's Office."