29 May 2008

Tonga political reform to begin next month

3:21 pm on 29 May 2008

The Tongan government is to begin the process for implementing political reform as soon as next month.

In the speech from the throne at the opening of the first session of the new Parliament, the Princess Regent, Salote Mafile'o Pilolevu Tuita, said the current term would be a watershed in Tonga's political evolution.

She confirmed that the next elections, in 2010, will be conducted under a reformed structure.

Princess Pilolevu says it will make this session an historically important one, in that it will be the last under a system that has guided the Kingdom of Tonga for the past 133 years.

And she says it is important because of the responsibility on MPs to ensure they develop a system and structure that will always promote stability, peace and prosperity.

Princess Pilolevu says the Government next month will introduce a bill to establish a constitution and electoral commission to consider the reform and to draft the necessary legislation.