Tongan general election, 2014

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General elections were held in Tonga on 27 November 2014.[1] All twenty-six elected seats in the single-chamber Legislative Assembly were up for election, although the monarch, acting on the advice of his Prime Minister, retains the possibility to appoint members to Cabinet from outside Parliament, thus granting them a non-elected ex officio seat in Parliament.

They were the second elections carried out under the May 2010 electoral law, which provided that a majority of Assembly members should be elected by the people, rather than the people and the nobility having equal representation.[2] The November 2010 general election was the first held under this new democratic principle; it was also the first to produce a Parliament empowered to give binding advice to the King as to the appointment of a Prime Minister.[2]

Background[edit]

In the 2010 general elections, the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI), led by veteran pro-democracy activist ʻAkilisi Pohiva, had won twelve of the people's seventeen seats, with the rest going to independent candidates. (The representatives of the nobility, for their part, never belong to any political party.) Pohiva, the MP for Tongatapu 1, had sought to become Prime Minister, but the nobles and independent people's representatives entrusted Lord Tuʻivakanō with the task of forming a government, relegating the DPFI to the status of a de facto parliamentary opposition.[2]

Considering that the reforms introduced in 2010 were merely to be viewed as a first step in the process of democratisation, the DPFI introduced a bill in October 2013 (via ʻAisake Eke, MP for Tongatapu 5) which would have empowered the people to elect the Prime Minister directly from among the twenty-six elected members of Parliament, instead of the King appointing a Prime Minister from among those members on the advice of Parliament. The bill was rejected by fifteen votes to six, failing even to secure the support of all DPFI members.[3]

Nonetheless, Pohiva immediately announced that, in early 2014, his party would submit a bill for electoral reform, so that all twenty-six members of the Assembly be elected by the people. The nobility would still retain their existing nine seats, but those nobles would be elected by the people. Pohiva suggested this would make "the whole Parliament [...] accountable to the people and not as we have it now".[4] Dr Malakai Koloamatangi of Massey University commented that it was probably too late for any such reform to apply to the 2014 election.[5]

Electoral system[edit]

Under the electoral reforms introduced prior to the 2010 election, Tonga is divided into seventeen single-member constituencies for the election of the people's representatives. These overlap with the four constituencies for the election of the nobles' representatives: a four-member constituency covering Tongatapu and ʻEua, a two-member constituency covering Vavaʻu, a two-member constituency covering Haʻapai, and a single-member constituency covering the islands of Niuafoʻou and Niuatoputapu. In both types of constituency, the first-past-the-post electoral system is applied.[2]

All Tongan citizens aged at least 21, other than noble title holders and members of the Royal Family who hold noble titles, are entitled to elect the people's representative for their constituency. "Persons under summons for debt" and those diagnosed as insane are excluded from the right to vote.[2] As for the nobles' constituencies, the right to vote is granted to hereditary peers and life peers, although only hereditary peers are entitled to be elected. There are thirty-three titles of hereditary nobility, which can be inherited only by men, and which entitle the bearer to the title of "Lord". Some of these titles are periodically vacant, and some are held by members of the Royal Family. As of 2013, eight commoners (all of them men) had been elevated by the monarchy to a life peerage, which likewise entitled them to the title of "Lord".[6]

Results[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands 9 –3
Independents 8 +3
Nobles' representatives 9 0
Invalid/blank votes 105
Total 40,736 100 26 0
Source: NZ Kaniva Pacific

By constituency[edit]

Tongatapu 1
Candidate Votes %
ʻAkilisi Pohiva 1,482
William Cocker 448
Mosese Teu-Ki-Veiuto Manuofetoa 345
Ilisapesi Tau'akitangata Seli Baker 191
Ana Kanume Bing Fonua 132
Emeline 'Uheina Tuita 75
Eliesa Fifita 75
Soloni Lutui 8
Invalid/blank votes 13
Total 2,769 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 2
Candidate Votes %
Semisi Sika 1,091
Sione Tu'itavake Fonua 543
Tevita Kaitu'u Fotu 436
Soane Patita Vakautafefine Fifita 186
Invalid/blank votes 9
Total 2,265 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 3
Candidate Votes %
Siaosi 'Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni 999
Tevita Palu 711
Clive Edwards 518
Mesuilame Simote Vea 459
Mele Teusivi 'Amanaki 151
Gabriella Renne Blake 'Ilolahia 110
Paula Lavulo 15
Invalid/blank votes 6
Total 2,969 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 4
Candidate Votes %
Mateni Tapueluelu 783
ʻIsileli Pulu 570
Etika Koka 492
Seketi Fo'ou Fuko 248
Etuate 'Eniti Sakalia 168
Poli Tuaileva 94
Tevita 'Ita Koloamatangi 54
Felise 'Ulupano 37
Tominiko Setefano Folaumotuita Kama 4
Invalid/blank votes 14
Total 2,464 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 5
Candidate Votes %
ʻAisake Eke 1,682
Maliu Takai 1,090
Lia Manatu Faoa 72
Viliami Kini Tukia H.P. Mangisi 44
Invalid/blank votes 13
Total 2,901 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 6
Candidate Votes %
Poasi Mataele Tei 1,036
Salesi Finau Hu'ia Fotu 912
Siosifa Tuʻitupou Tuʻutafaiva 629
Sione Tatafu Angakehe Tafuna 325
Invalid/blank votes 7
Total 2,909 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 7
Candidate Votes %
Sione Vuna Fa'otusia 822
Sione Sangster Saulala 762
Sipola Fakaanga Havili Halafihi 686
Mavaetangi Manavahetau 199
Atalasa Misilemoti Pouvalu 99
Pinomi Prescott 41
Amanaki Paea Molitika 33
Siosifa Filini Sikuea 31
Invalid/blank votes 5
Total 2,678 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 8
Candidate Votes %
Semisi Fakahau 1,016
Tevita Tu'i Uata 895
Sione Taione 663
Mafile'o Mataele 32
Sipaisi Kutu 12
Invalid/blank votes 3
Total 2,621 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 9
Candidate Votes %
Penisimani 'Epenisa Fifita 679
Vika Fusimalohi 603
Falisi Tupou 550
Tevita Tupu 'Ofa 505
Samipeni Uaine Finau 199
Lemasingo Tania Nai 88
Invalid/blank votes 7
Total 2,683 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Tongatapu 10
Candidate Votes %
Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa 1,402
Faka'osilea Kaufusi 845
Daniel Kimball Fale 452
Semisi Tapueluelu 285
Seini Teu 45
Invalid/blank votes 6
Total 3,035 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
'Eua 11
Candidate Votes %
Tevita Lavemaau 760
Sunia Fili 716
Taniela Fusimalohi 618
Suliasi Pouvalu Fonise 'Aholelei 57
Silivia Loumaile Mahe 7
Invalid/blank votes 1
Total 2,159 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Ha'apai 12
Candidate Votes %
Viliami Manuopangai Hingano 535
Moʻale Finau 532
Pita Faiva Taufatofua 396
Pita Vi 158
Tu'ivaita Ueleni 69
Latiume Kaufusi 18
Invalid/blank votes 1
Total 1,709 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Ha'apai 13
Candidate Votes %
Veivosa Light of Life Taka 823
Samiuela Takapuna Fangaloka 443
Sosaia Langitoto Helu 156
Anau Ki Lifuka 'Anau 139
Sione Talanoa Fifita 103
Invalid/blank votes 1
Total 1,665 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Vava'u 14
Candidate Votes %
Saia Ma'u Piukala 1,232
Lisiate ‘Akolo 739
Latu Niua Lepolo 272
Matini F.M.'O.V.T.T. Veikune 79
Tu'amelie H. Faitu'a Kemoe'atu 70
Tongovua T. Toloke Appleton 34
Taniela Fakalolo Kivalu 17
Invalid/blank votes 8
Total 2,450 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Vava'u 15
Candidate Votes %
Samiu Vaipulu 747
Tomifa Paea 524
Kulufeinga 'Anisi Bloomfield 472
Keuli Pasina Lavaki 166
Sione Sosefo Fitu Mailangi 95
Alekisio Kaita'eifo 77
Alwyn Thomas Moa 36
Elieta Sapate Toke 31
Salesi Kauvaka 27
Viliami Kaufusi Helu 20
Viliami Pasikala 16
Henele Tu'ulau Fononga 9
Invalid/blank votes 4
Total 2,224 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Vava'u 16
Candidate Votes %
‘Etuate Lavulavu 767
Viliami Latu 627
Ipeni 'Alamoni Siale 346
Tupoulahi Manuofetoa 212
Aisea Silivenusi 135
Viliami Lolohea 106
Ikani Loneli Taliai 87
Invalid/blank votes 6
Total 2,286 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal
Ongo Niua 17
Candidate Votes %
Sosefo Fe‘aomoeata Vakata 519
Vatai Hui 291
Sione Peauafi Haukinima 138
Invalid/blank votes 1
Total 949 100
Registered voters/turnout
Source: Tonga Portal

Nobles[edit]

Constituency Elected candidate Votes
'Eua Lord Nuku 7
Ha'apai Lord Tuʻihaʻateiho 4
Lord Tu'iha'angana 4
Niuatoputapu and Niuafo'ou Lord Fusitu’a 2
Tongatapu ʻAlipate Tuʻivanuavou Vaea 11
Maʻafu Tukuiʻaulahi 10
Sialeʻataongo Tuʻivakanō 8
Vava'u Tonga Tuʻiʻafitu 5
Lord Tu'ilakepa 4
Source: Tonga Portal

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MP proposes bill to dissolve government", Matangi Tonga, 21 October 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e "Tonga: Fale Alea (Legislative Assembly)", Interparliamentary Union
  3. ^ "Parliament rejects a Bill to change Tonga's electoral system", Matangi Tonga, 24 October 2013
  4. ^ "Tonga Democrats to table more reform plans", Radio New Zealand International, 30 October 2013
  5. ^ "Tonga reform push too late before elections, says academic", Radio New Zealand International, 31 October 2013
  6. ^ "Nobles", Tongan Ministry of Information