Petition for Tongan electoral reform

PHOTO: PINA

A petition calling for reform of Tonga’s electoral system so that the Prime Minister may be chosen by a popular vote (and not by the Members of Parliament in the House) has engaged the House this week.

On Monday the House “recognised” a petition for a General Election of Tonga’s Prime Minister, that was tabled into Parliament by the Tongatapu No. 2 People’s Representative, Dr ‘Uhilamoelangi Fasi.

The petition wants Tonga to proceed with the political reform that was introduced in 2010 and for the people to elect Tonga’s Prime Minister.

Dr Fasi also pointed out that the petition had 143 signatures of religious people who were praying every day for God to guide Tonga.

Under the current system a Prime Minister is elected by the Members of Parliament, following a General Election.

The petition generated a lot of discussion related to the 2010 reform.

Members who supported passing the petition were Piveni Piukala, Mo’ale Finau and Kapelieli Militoni Lanumata.

However, after a few exchanges of views over the petition, the House was called for voting again.

Members could vote to either pass the Petition (Tali – Pass); or to reject the petition (Ta’e Tali, Not Pass), or Recognise the petition (Fakatokanga’i – Recognised).

Piveni Piukala and Kapelieli Militoni Lanumata wanted to pass it.

Mo’ale Finau wanted to Fakatokanga’i recognise it. However, 12 members of the House voted to Recognise the petition This meant the discussion continued while they decided what to do with it.

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