Legislative Assembly of Tonga

Legislative Assembly Of Tonga

Legislative Assembly of Tonga

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Description:
The Legislative Assembly () of Tonga has 30 members, 9 members elected for a three year term in multi-seat constituencies via the single non-transferable vote system, 9 members elected for a three year term by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga, 10 members of the Privy Council and 2 governors. The Assembly is controlled by the royal family and noble families. The Legislative Assembly sits for 4 or 5 months a year.At the most recent elections on 17 March 2005, according to , 7 of the 9 people's deputies belong to the democratic Human Rights and Democracy Movement. The electoral system does not allow any party to achieve power; one party exists in opposition. The electoral system, in which commoners (i.e., non-nobles) directly elect only nine of thirty seats in the Fale, does not allow political parties to form a government. Parties exist as pressure groups rather than electoral vehicles or patronage dispensers. A majority of the commoners in parliament belong to the Human Rights and Democracy Movement. The People's Democratic Party is the first registered party.

History

A Legislative Assembly providing for representation of nobles and commoners was established in 1862 by King George Tupou I. This body met every three 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...
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