Tonga parliament

Tonga MPs reminded of their duties to the public

This was one of the highlights of the three-day induction programme that began yesterday.

Speaker of Parliament, Lord Fakafanua, said MPs represent the interest of the people “therefore legislators should always be prepared to carry out their legislative duties at all times for the people and the constituents they represent.”

MPs were also reminded that “This is through their duties when they debate and vote on legislation, approve the budget and their best approach to represent the voters in Parliament.”

Tonga Parliament to conduct Induction session for parliamentarians

The programme that will be conducted by the Tonga Parliament will also inform MPs of parliament’s oversight role on the executive.

The first session is planned for 27 February until 1 March and the second session will be held from 21-23 March, according to the Legislative Assembly's calendar.

A statement said the induction programme will be led by the Speaker Lord Fakfanua, with the Clerk and Deputy Clerk of Parliament and other Heads of Departments. Experts have been invited to conduct presentations on various issues related to Parliament.  

Tonga’s new Member of Parliament sworn in

Taione won Tongatapu 8 By-Election, on 19 January.

He succeeds Semisi Fakahau, who passed away last year.

Meanwhile, the agenda of the assembly included a Bill and Regulations received from the Government, annual reports from government agencies, and other reports to be tabled for consideration by the House, among others.

The last sitting was in December 2022.


Tonga Parliament to convene on January 31

The Parliament’s Office confirmed that this is after its last sitting in December 2022.

The meeting was called by the Lord Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Lord Fakafanua.

The Pacific Island Kingdom’s parliament office also confirms that the swearing-in of the new Member of Parliament for will be part of the agenda.

Johnny Grattan Taione has been confirmed as the elected representative by the Electoral Commission, by return of the writ of election for the constituency to the Lord Speaker.

Tonga parliament postponed due to lack of quorum

It was announced that the House deferred for 15 minutes because of the quorum issue but it was updated a short time later to say the sitting was postponed until Monday morning at 10am.

It came after the House resumed sitting on August 1 since it passed the 2022/2023 National Budget in June.

Kaniva News reports it is understood the agenda included deliberating on Government Public Bills.

On Wednesday, the legislators supported by a majority vote, a proposed amendment to section 119 of the Criminal Offences (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 2022.

Tonga Parliament meeting deferred again

No new date has been announced.

The deferral is the second in less than a week.

A statement issued by the Chief Clerk of the Legislative Assembly said the deferral is consequent on the ex tempore judgement issued on Friday 20 May 2022 granting a stay of execution of the judgement in the election petition with respect to the Tongatapu 4
People’s Representative, who is also the Minister of Finance as well as the Minister of Customs, Tatafu Toma Moeaki.

Tonga may be forced to dissolve parliament - Moala

The latest MP to lose his seat over bribery charges is the Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei, who joins former Prime Minister, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, Sangster Saulala and Finance Minister Tatafu Moeaki.

They all have an opportunity to appeal but they have lost their seats regardless.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Tonga, Kalafi Moala, who is also a long time observer of Tongan politics, said it may leave the Tonga parliament short of a quorum with it next month having to meet in order to pass the Budget.

King calls on Tonga parlt to support private sector

"The challenge for the future is clear. We must prioritize our development goals because there are never enough resources for all our needs", he said.

"In order to advance we must have an accounting of where the nation is financially now. Our local market cannot sustain our balance of payments."

Tupou VI has urged the new Parliament to focus on facilitating Tonga's local economy, which has suffered from Covid restrictions and which has long struggled with a dependency on food and fuel imports.

Tonga King criticises parliament over illegal drug crisis

In May, 'Aho'eitu Tupou VI, was critical of MPs when this year's parliament session opened, questioning their honesty and their ability to run the government.

Our correspondent in Nuku'alofa, Kalafi Moala, said this week the King again found a number of faults with parliament.

"He was quite concerned of the fact that the country is still very much overrun with the drug trade and very little has been done about it particularly from parliament in terms of legislation and things like that," Kalafi Moala said.

Tonga’s Parliament amends legislation for MPs convicted of criminal offence

Parliament passed a recent amendment to clause 23 of the Constitution, introduced as a Private Member's Bill by Lord Speaker Fakafanua.

A statement said the amendment prohibits any person convicted of a criminal offence punishable for more than 3 years, to hold office or retain Government employment whether of emolument or honour.

The imposition of a three-year threshold is to reflect that the disqualification is prompted immediately following being convicted of an indicatable offence.