Tonga elections

Siaosi Sovaleni is top bet for Tonga PM

Following the November 18 general election Sovaleni has been rated by many Tongans here as the best choice for the top post.


He raked in a total of 2,084 votes of the total 2,502 votes cast in the constituency and was the top vote single earner from all the 17 constituencies.


No women elected in Tonga: time to change the story

Out of a total of 38,500 votes, 34,198 were cast for the male candidates and only 4,352 were cast for the 12 female candidates, down from 14% of total votes in 2017 to 11% in 2021. The only female MP incumbent running, Losaline Ma’asi, did not make it for a second term. At the 2017 snap elections she won 35% (1,034) of the total number of votes in her constituency Tongatapu 5. Yesterday, she won only 23% (614).

Drugs crisis tops voter concerns ahead of Tonga’s election

But one issue that's dominating pre-election discussions is the country's growing drugs crisis.

"It's taking everyone by surprise. Tonga is not used to those stuff and the changes that come with it, it's just overwhelming for everyone," Samuela Halahala from the Tonga National Youth Congress told Pacific Beat.

The Kingdom's seen a dramatic rise in the use of illicit drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and is no longer just a transit point for drug smugglers taking their product from South America to large markets in Australia and New Zealand.

Tonga's by-election: 2 high-profile candidates vie for seat

Mr Pohiva, who died in September, had held the Tongatapu No1 seat for 32 years.

The by-election will be held on 28 November.

Noted scientist Netatua Prescott Taufatofua is competing against Mr Pohiva's eldest son, Saiosi for the seat.

She said there was a lot of talk of good governance and accountability but those principles were not always respected by members of parliament.

Tongan MPs push cases for PM candidates

'Akilisi Pohiva, whose reign was shortened by the August dissolution of parliament by the king, is up against his former deputy, Siaosi Sovaleni.

Mr Pohiva's democratic party won 14 seats in the subsequent November election giving him a slight majority in the 26 seat House.

So far there is no indication of any member of his party crossing the floor to support Mr Sovaleni, who was the third highest polling candidate in the election, although speeches are continuing and voting will be done in secret.

Process to elect Tonga PM to begin shortly

The interim speaker, Lord Tangi, can now invite the successful candidates from the November 16 election to submit nominations for prime minister.

The soon to be sworn in MPs have two weeks to submit their nominations to Tangi before a secret ballot is held within another three more days of that deadline.

Before the ballot, nominees are given a chance to speak and other MPs may speak in support of their respective candidate.

Tangi will report the result to the palace before the Prime Minister designate is summoned to be appointed by the King.

PIF observers commend Tonga Electoral Commission for successful election

Team leader Wilson Waguk, who is the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Federated States of Micronesia to Fiji, said they are pleased to offer their congratulations to the commission.

“Even though the Commission had a shorter time to prepare due to the snap elections, we are of the view that the Electoral Commission delivered a free and credible election. We equally recognise the contribution by other Government agencies and the voting public toward the success of the election.

Noble says Tongan MPs need to work together

Lord Fusitu'a won one of the nine seats set aside for the 33 hereditary nobles.

The snap election was the result of the royal dissolution of parliament which came after the then Speaker Lord Tu'ivakano approached the King about concerns he held over the government's conduct.

Lord Fusitu'a said parliamentarians can learn from the last few years.

Tonga's Civil Society says public is engaged in election

The election comes a year earlier than scheduled after the King dissolved parliament around concerns about the conduct of the government.

Siale 'Ilolahia said this may have led to a voting public becoming more engaged than in the past.

She also said candidates were taking airwaves, to the streets in floats, and pushing their messages more than ever before.

Ms 'Ilolahia said people were starting to think more about the consequence of their votes.

Observers say Tongan election build-up positive

Former New Zealand cabinet minister Margaret Wilson, is leading the first ever Commonwealth Observer team to the country.

The election comes a year earlier than scheduled after August's dissolution of parliament by the King over concerns about the conduct of government.

Ms Wilson said the interim Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva requested the mission.

She said despite the unique manner in which the election was brought about, the team has had good feedback from meetings with various community leaders.