Legislative Assembly of Tonga
since December 2017
|2017 Tongan general election|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Legislative Assembly (Tongan : Fale Alea) of Tonga has 25 members in which 17 members elected by majority of the people for a 5-year term in multi-seat constituencies via the single non-transferable vote system. There are 8 members elected by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga. The Assembly is controlled by the speaker of the House who is elected by majority of the elected members of Parliament and constitutionally appointed by the king.
A Legislative Assembly providing for representation of nobles and commoners was established in 1862 by King George Tupou I.This body met every four 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 Cabinet Ministers chosen by the monarch.An increase in the number of nobles from twenty to thirty saw the Assembly grow to 70 members. Amendments in 1914 saw a reduction in the size of the Assembly and annual sittings. The principle of equal representation of nobles and commoners was retained.
In April 2010 the Legislative Assembly enacted a package of political reforms, increasing the number of people's representatives from nine to seventeen,with ten seats for Tongatapu, three for Vava’u, two for Ha’apai and one each for Niuas and 'Eua.
The 100-year-old Tongan Parliament House was destroyed by Cyclone Gita, a Category 4 tropical cyclone that passed through the nation on 12 and 13 February 2018.
The Legislative Assembly is presided over by a Speaker, who is elected by the MPs at the first meeting of elected members after the general election.Prior to 2010, the Speaker was appointed by the monarch.
A complete list of the Speakers is below:
|Name||Took office||Left office||Notes|
|Hon. Viliami Tungi||1875||1896|
|Hon. Siaosi Tuku'aho||1897||1897|
|Hon. Siaosi Tu'ipelehake||1897||1912|
|Hon. Finau 'Ulukalala||1912||1938|
|Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune||1939||1940||1st term|
|Hon. Tu'ivakano||1941||1941||1st term|
|Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune||1945||1945||2nd term|
|Hon. Tu'ivakano||1946||1948||2nd term|
|Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune||1949||1949||3rd term|
|Hon. Tu'ivaikano||1950||1950||3rd term|
|Hon. Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi||1959||1984|
|Hon. Kalaniuvalu Fotofili||1985||1986|
|Hon. Veikune||April 1999||2001||1st term|
|Lord Tuʻivakanō||1 July 2002||2004||1st term|
|Hon. Veikune||22 March 2005||January 2006||2nd term|
|Hon. Havea Tui'ha'angana||10 February 2006||April 2008|
|Hon. Tu'ilakepa||2 May 2008||2010|
|Lord Tupou (interim)||3 December 2010||21 December 2010|
|Hon. Lasike||21 December 2010||18 July 2012|
|Lord Fakafanua||19 July 2012||29 December 2014||1st term|
|Lord Tuʻivakanō||January 2015||December 2017||2nd term|
|Lord Fakafanua||December 2017||2nd term|
Until 2010, the government was appointed by the monarch without reference to Parliament, and there were no political parties. The last term under the old system was the 2008 Tongan Legislative Assembly. Political reform in 2010 saw the Prime Minister elected by Parliament from among its members, leading to responsible government.
|2010 Parliament||2010 election||Independent|
|2014 Parliament||2014 election||No overall majority|
|2017 Parliament||2017 election||DPFI|
Clerk (Kalae Pule Falealea 'o Tonga)
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The history of Tonga is recorded since the century after 900 BC, when seafarers associated with the Lapita diaspora first settled the islands which now make up the Kingdom of Tonga. Along with Fiji and Samoa, the area served as a gateway into the rest of the Pacific region known as Polynesia. Ancient Tongan mythologies recorded by early European explorers report the islands of 'Ata and Tongatapu as the first islands having been hauled to the surface from the deep ocean by Maui.
Politics of Tonga takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the King is the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Tonga's Prime Minister is currently appointed by the King from among the members of Parliament after having won the support of a majority of its members. Executive power is vested in the Cabinet of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in the King in Parliament, and judicial power is vested in the supreme court.
The Human Rights and Democracy Movement (HRDM) is a political party in Tonga. Its leader is Uliti Uata.
The prime minister of Tonga is the country's head of government. Tonga is a monarchy with the king, currently Tupou VI, former prime minister, as head of state. The current prime minister is Pōhiva Tuʻiʻonetoa, in office since 8 October 2019 following the death of ʻAkilisi Pōhiva on 12 September 2019.
General elections were held in Tonga on 23 and 24 April 2008 to elect members of the Legislative Assembly. The nobles were elected on 23 April, and the nine people's representatives on 24 April. A total of 32,000 people turned out to vote, giving a turnout of 48%.
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Early general elections under a new electoral law were held in Tonga on 25 November 2010. They determined the composition of the 2010 Tongan Legislative Assembly.
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Sione Teisina Fuko is a Tongan politician and former Member of the Tongan Parliament for the island of Ha'apai. He is a member of the People's Democratic Party.
Lord Luani, born Sione Laumanuʻuli Luani, was a Tongan nobleman, Member of Parliament, and the Governor of Vavaʻu.
Siale ʻAtaongo Kaho, Lord Tuʻivakanō is a Tongan politician who served as the Prime Minister of Tonga from 2010 to 2014.
Viliami Veasiʻi Veikune, styled Lord Tuʻihaʻateiho is a Tongan noble, politician, and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. He is the 15th person to hold the Tuʻihaʻateiho title, and was appointed to it on 5 June 2004.
Moʻale Finau is a Tongan politician and Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. He is currently Governor of Ha'apai.
Niuas is an electoral constituency which sends one representative to the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. It covers the islands of Niuafoʻou and Niuatoputapu.
Vavaʻu is an electoral constituency which sends two representatives to the Legislative Assembly of Tonga. It covers the eponymous region and island chain.
Fatafehi Fakafānua, known before ascending to his title as Fatafehi Kinikinilau Lolomana‘ia Fakafānua, is a Tongan politician, Lord of the Realm and former Speaker of the Tongan Legislative Assembly. He is the 8th Fakafānua.
General elections were held in Tonga on 27 November 2014. 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.
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General elections were held in Tonga on 16 November 2017 to elect 17 of the 26 seats to the Legislative Assembly. King Tupou VI dissolved the Assembly on 25 August 2017 on the advice of its Speaker, Sialeʻataongo Tuʻivakanō, who claimed that Prime Minister ʻAkilisi Pohiva was attempting to claim powers held by the King and Privy Council within Cabinet.
Lord Tongaleva Luani was a Tongan noble and politician. He served as a member of the Legislative Assembly between 1957 and 1978.