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TONGA
Fale Alea (Legislative Assembly)

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GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name (generic / translated) Fale Alea / Legislative Assembly
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Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 2014 -
LEADERSHIP
President Lord Tu'ivakano (M) 
Notes Elected on 29 Dec. 2014.
Secretary General Gloria L Guttenbeil-Pole'o  (F) 
Notes Appointed on 28 Jan. 2013.
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 30 / 26
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


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Women (current number) 0 (0.00%)
Mode of designation directly elected 17
indirectly elected 9
other 4
Notes Indirectly elected members: nine nobles

In accordance with Clause 59 of the 2010 Constitution, the Legislative Assembly shall be composed of the representatives of the nobles (currently nine), the representatives of the people (currently 17) and all members of the Cabinet. The Cabinet may include no more than four persons who are not elected to the Legislative Assembly (Clause 51). The Legislative Assembly may thus comprise up to 30 members. However, since the Cabinet formed in January 2015 does not comprise any non-elected members, the total number of members remains at 26.
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 27 November 2014
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Legislative Assembly
P.O. Box 901
NUKU'ALOFA, Tongatapu Island
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (676) 23 565
24 455
Fax (676) 24 626
E-mail gloria_guttenbeil@yahoo.co.uk
Website
http://www.parliament.gov.to/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name (generic / translated) Fale Alea / Legislative Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 6 May 2010
Mode of designation directly elected 17
indirectly elected 9
other 4
Constituencies 27 single-member constituencies: 10 in Tongatapu, three in Vava'u and two in Ha'apai and one each in 'Eua and Niuatoputapu/Niuafo'ou.
Voting system Majority: Single member plurality systems ("first past the post").
Candidates with the highest number of votes are declared elected.
Vacancies arising in seats held by representatives of nobles or the commoners are filled through by elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 21 years
- Tonga citizenship
- Registration on the electoral roll
- disqualifications: insanity, nobles, persons under summons for debt
CANDIDATES
Eligibility Qualified electors
- age: 21 years
- Tonga citizenship
- ineligibility: civil servants, persons with unpaid debts under court order
Incompatibilities - all offices of emolument under the Crown except those of Minister and Governor
Candidacy requirements Candidatures submitted by individuals
For directly elected members:
- supported by 50 qualified electors of the district concerned
- registration fee of $T 400 (US$ 200)

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name (generic / translated) Fale Alea / Legislative Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 27 November 2014
Timing and scope of renewal The Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI), led by the veteran pro-democracy MP 'Akilisi Pohiva, took eight of the 17 directly elected seats (known as "commoners". The remaining nine seats are held by indirectly elected Nobles). Independent candidates took the other seats, two of whom joined the DPFI following the elections. No women were elected, although a record 16 women stood for the elections, up from 10 in 2010.

During the election campaign, the DPFI promised to "complete the reform" that started in 2010 (see note). 73-year-old DPFI leader Pohiva pledged to form a "government of the people" led by a commoner Prime Minister and promised to give the highest priority to good governance, transparency, accountability and anti-corruption measures.

On 29 December, the new Legislative Assembly elected DPFI leader Pohiva as the new Prime Minister, who thereby became first-ever elected commoner premier. The outgoing Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano was elected Speaker. After receiving the endorsement of King Tupou VI the following day, the new 12-member Cabinet - comprising five DPFI members, one Noble and six independent members – took office on 19 January 2015.

Note:
Since the 2010 elections, the majority of the members in the Legislative Assembly are chosen by direct elections (17 commoners).
In accordance with Clause 59 of the 2010 Constitution, the Legislative Assembly shall be composed of the representatives of the nobles (currently nine), the representatives of the people (currently 17) and all members of the Cabinet. The Cabinet may include not more than four persons who are not elected to the Legislative Assembly (Clause 51). The Legislative Assembly may thus comprise up to 30 members (nine nobles, 17 representatives of the people and up to four non-elected members in the Cabinet). However, since the Cabinet formed in January 2015 does not comprise any non-elected members, the total number of members remains at 26.
Date of previous elections: 25 November 2010

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 11 September 2014

Timing of election:Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: November 2018

Number of seats at stake: 17 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 107 (91 men, 16 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 15%

Number of parties contesting the election: 2

Number of parties winning seats: 1

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 29 December 2014

Name of the new Speaker: Lord Tu'ivakano
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Distribution of votes
Distribution of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
26

0

0.00%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Source: Legislative Assembly (03.12.2014, 21.01.2015)

This page was last updated on 28 January 2015
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