Tongans took to the streets Friday in a rare protest against the Pacific kingdom's decision to grant citizenship to more than 400 foreigners, including former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos.
About 2,000 people, led by Roman Catholic Bishop Patelesio Finau and opposition parliamentarians, marched through the capital Nuku'alofa in what residents called the biggest protest in living memory.The tiny island nation ruled by King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV has been selling passports for upwards of $10,000 since 1984. Recipients are mostly from southeast Asia, and include the widow of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was overthrown in 1986.
Parliament declared the passport sales illegal in 1988. The government last month announced the king had agreed to a legal amendment allowing 426 passport holders, including Marcos, to become Tongan citizens.