King and Privy council say “no” to CEDAW

The Tonga Privy Council says the Government’s plan to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is unconstitutional.

King Tupou VI, with his Privy Council, was responding to petitions from groups in Tonga who have sought his help to stop the ratification process.

The Government has committed to ratify CEDAW but has put this on hold until after this week’s coronation of Tupou VI.

The King, in a statement, says he wants to acknowledge the concerns of 13,048 of his subjects who have sent eight petitions to him.

The statement says the Privy Council is not persuaded that the process followed by the Government is in accord with the constitution.

It says the Council has not authorised ministers to sign the document.

In May a 15,000-signature petition has been handed to the palace requesting that the Tongan king stop the government from ratifying CEDAW.

There already had been multiple petitions handed to parliament and a parliamentary resolution opposing the ratification of CEDAW.

Those who oppose the ratification of CEDAW have expressed concern that it will allow same sex marriage and abortion.

At the time a church representative Father Selwyn ‘Akau’ola, said the request has been made for royal intervention as the government seems intent on going ahead with the move.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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