Audrey Young reports on the first elections in Tonga where the people elected the majority of Parliament:
The figure probably given least credit for the new Tonga is King George Tupou V whose progressive views are overshadowed by his eccentricities.
Nonetheless his long held ambition to surrender his executive power to the people is highly unusual.
Opinion remains divided on the King. Some say he is a true democrat and reformer. One less kind critic told me he is simply too lazy to govern himself, so that is why he gave up power!
King George, who went to Kings School and Kings College in New Zealand, said he would not have wanted reform if he had been educated only in Tonga.
“Like others of my generation, my education has generally been a liberal European education and I feel sure that without a European education, with a solely Tonga education, I don’t believe I would have been able to make the changes,” he told Bruce Hill.
Liberal European educations have a lot going for them. I hold a tiny amount of hope for North Korea on the basis their future ruler went to school in Switzerland.Tags: Tonga