Legislative Assembly of Tonga

Last updated
Legislative Assembly of Tonga

Fale Alea
Seal of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga (monochrome).svg
Fatafehi Fakafanua
since December 2017
Seats25 members
Legislative Assembly of Tonga Apr 2020.svg
Political groups
  •   Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (8)
  •   Nobles' representatives (8)
  •   Former DPFI members (5)
  •   Independents (3)
  •   Vacant (1)
multi-seat constituency
Last election
2017 Tongan general election
Meeting place

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. [1] 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. [2] An increase in the number of nobles from twenty to thirty saw the Assembly grow to 70 members. [3] 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. [4]

In April 2010 the Legislative Assembly enacted a package of political reforms, increasing the number of people's representatives from nine to seventeen, [5] with ten seats for Tongatapu, three for Vava’u, two for Ha’apai and one each for Niuas and 'Eua. [6]

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. [7]

Speaker of the Assembly

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. [8] Prior to 2010, the Speaker was appointed by the monarch. [9]

A complete list of the Speakers is below: [10] [11]

NameTook officeLeft officeNotes
Hon. Viliami Tungi18751896
Hon. Siaosi Tuku'aho18971897
Hon. Siaosi Tu'ipelehake18971912
Hon. Finau 'Ulukalala19121938
Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune193919401st term
Hon. Tu'ivakano194119411st term
Hon. Nuku19421944
Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune194519452nd term
Hon. Tu'ivakano194619482nd term
Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune194919493rd term
Hon. Tu'ivaikano195019503rd term
Hon. Kalaniuvalu 19511958
Hon. Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi19591984
Hon. Kalaniuvalu Fotofili 19851986
Hon. Malupo19871989
Hon. Fusitu'a19901998 [12]
Hon. VeikuneApril 199920011st term
Lord Tuʻivakanō 1 July 200220041st term
Hon. Veikune22 March 2005January 20062nd term
Hon. Havea Tui'ha'angana10 February 2006April 2008 [13]
Hon. Tu'ilakepa 2 May 20082010
Lord Tupou (interim)3 December 201021 December 2010 [14]
Hon. Lasike 21 December 201018 July 2012
Lord Fakafanua 19 July 201229 December 20141st term
Lord Tuʻivakanō January 2015December 20172nd term
Lord Fakafanua December 20172nd term [15]

Terms of the Tongan Legislative Assembly

Parliament Nuku'alofa.jpg

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.

TermElected inGovernment
2010 Parliament 2010 election Independent
2014 Parliament 2014 election No overall majority
2017 Parliament 2017 election DPFI


Clerk (Kalae Pule Falealea 'o Tonga)

Legislative Procedures

See also

Related Research Articles

History of Tonga

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 Political system of Tonga

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.

Prime Minister of Tonga

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.

2008 Tongan general election

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%.

ʻAkilisi Pōhiva former Prime Minister of Tonga

Samiuela ʻAkilisi Pōhiva was a Tongan pro-democracy activist and politician. Pohiva, the leader of the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI), served as the Prime Minister of Tonga from 2014 to his death in 2019. He was only the fourth commoner to serve as Prime Minister, and the first commoner to be elected to that position by Parliament rather than appointed by the King.

2010 Tongan general election

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.

Cabinet of Tonga

The Cabinet of Tonga is the cabinet of the government of the Kingdom of Tonga. It is composed primarily of the ministers of government. The latter, including the Prime Minister, are appointed by the monarch. The Governor of Ha'apai and the Governor of Vava'u also serve on the Cabinet ex officio. When in session and presided over by the monarch, the Cabinet is known as the Privy Council.

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.

Sialeʻataongo Tuʻivakanō

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 Fakafanua Tongan noble and politician

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.

2014 Tongan general election

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.

Tonga Ma'a Tonga Kautaha was formed in Tonga in 1909 to export copra on behalf of its members, prior to which such exports had been controlled by a cartel of European traders who profited greatly from the trade but paid little to Tongan copra growers.

2017 Tongan general election

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.


  1. David Stanley (1999). Tonga-Samoa Handbook. p. 198. ISBN   978-1-56691-174-0.
  2. Ian Campbell (2005). "The Quest for Constitutional Reform in Tonga". Journal of Pacific History. 40 (1): 91–104. doi:10.1080/00223340500082400. S2CID   22501018.
  3. Campbell (2005), p. 93.
  4. Sione Latukefu. "History of our Constitution". Government of Tonga. Retrieved 2010-03-02.[ permanent dead link ]
  5. "Tonga Parliament enacts political reforms". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  6. "Tonga parliament votes on amended boundaries". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
  7. "Tonga parliament building flattened by Cyclone Gita". BBC News. 13 February 2018.
  8. "FAQs".
  9. Constitution of Tonga Archived 2008-11-19 at the Wayback Machine , s. 61
  10. "List of Speakers of the Tongan Legislative Assembly".
  11. This is drawn from Member profiles on the Legislative Assembly's official website
  12. "Lord Fusitu'a passes away".
  13. http://archive.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/arc/2317_05.htm
  14. http://archive.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/arc/2317_10.htm
  15. "Tongan Parliament elects Pōhiva as PM for next four years | Asia Pacific Report".