Legislative Assembly of Tonga
|Legslative Assembly of Tonga
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politics and government of
The Legislative Assembly (Tongan: Fale Alea) of Tonga has 26 members in which 17 members elected by majority of the people for a 5-year term in multi-seat constituencies via the single non-transferable vote system. There are 9 members elected by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga. The Assembly is controlled by the speaker of the House who is elected by majority of the elected members of Parliament and constitutionally appointed by the king .
A Legislative Assembly providing for representation of nobles and commoners was established in 1862 by King George Tupou I. This body met every four years and was continued in the 1875 Constitution.
Originally the Legislative Assembly consisted of all holders of noble titles, an equal number of people's representatives, the governors for Ha’apai and Vava’u, and at least four Cabinet Ministers chosen by the monarch. An increase in the number of nobles from twenty to thirty saw the Assembly grow to 70 members. Amendments in 1914 saw a reduction in the size of the Assembly and annual sittings. The principle of equal representation of nobles and commoners was retained.
In April 2010 the Legislative Assembly enacted a package of political reforms, increasing the number of people's representatives from nine to seventeen, with ten seats for Tongatapu, three for Vava’u, two for Ha’apai and one each for Niuas and 'Eua.
Speaker of the Assembly
The Legislative Assembly is presided over by a Speaker, appointed by the monarch.
|Name||Took office||Left office|
|?||Hon. Viliami Tungi||1875||1896|
|?||Hon. Siaosi Fuku'aho||1897||1897|
|?||Hon. Siaosi Tu'ipelehake||1897||1912|
|?||Hon. Finau 'Ulukalala||1912||1938|
|?||Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune||1939||1940|
|?||Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune||1945||1945|
|?||Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune||1949||1949|
|?||Hon. Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi||1959||1984|
|?||Siale'ataonga Tu'ivakano||1 July 2002||2004|
|?||Hon. Veikune||22 March 2005||2006|
|?||Hon. Havea Tui'ha'angana||2006||2008|
|?||Hon. Tu'ilakepa||April 29, 2008||2010|
|?||Lord Tupou (interim)||December 3, 2010||December 21, 2010|
|?||Hon. Lasike||December 21, 2010||July 18, 2012|
|?||Lord Fakafanua||July 19, 2012||Incumbent|
|Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands||10,953||28.49||12|
|People's Democratic Party||934||2.43||0|
|Sustainable Nation-Building Party||519||1.35||0|
|Tongan Democratic Labor Party||168||0.44||0|
|Source: Matangi Tonga|
Terms of the Tongan Legislative Assembly
Until 2010, the government was appointed by the monarch without reference to Parliament, and there were no political parties. The last term under the old system was the 2008 Tongan Legislative Assembly. Political reform in 2010 saw the Prime Minister elected by Parliament from among its members, leading to responsible government.
|2010 Parliament||2010 election||Independent|
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- David Stanley (1999). Tonga-Somoa Handbook. p. 198. ISBN 1-56691-174-5.
- Ian Campbell (2005). "The Quest for Constitutional Reform in Tonga". Journal of Pacific History 40 (1): 91–104. doi:10.1080/00223340500082400.
- Campbell (2005), p. 93.
- Sione Latukefu. "History of our Constitution". Government of Tonga. Retrieved 2010-03-02.
- "Tonga Parliament enacts political reforms". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
- "Tonga parliament votes on amended boundaries". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
- Constitution of Tonga, s. 61
- This is drawn from Member profiles on the Legislative Assembly's official website