By Ruci Farrell - firstname.lastname@example.org
The vice president of a newly-formed political party in Tonga says they're aiming to restore confidence in Tonga's politics, amid a series of political setbacks and a multi-million dollar lawsuit facing the Government.
The People's National Party was launched in Nuku'alofa on the weekend. Photo/ Matangi Tonga.
Former Auckland lawyer Sione Fonua is the vice president of the People's National Party.
He says there is much work to be done in the economy, education and health, especially tackling Tonga's drug problem.
Fonua says the party has strong centrist leanings, built on policies that have already proved successful.
"Because of our size, we will try to see whether we can work together. The nobles, take on the ideas and the policies from the PTOA [Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands] and hopefully we can work together as a coalition."
"We're in the early stage but we're building up membership until the next election."
Tongan Advisory Council Chair in Auckland, Melino Maka, believes it's a great move but Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva's Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands still has a strong backing.
Speaking to Le'o 'o e 'Otu Felenite, Maka says if the new party can poach supporters of DPFI, then they'll have a chance to challenge the Prime Minister and his government.