13 Apr 2010

Tonga assembly considers shape of electorates

1:35 pm on 13 April 2010

Tonga's Legislative Assembly is today considering how to divide the country into 17 electorates as required under the democratic reforms being put in place for elections later this year.

The report from the government-appointed Boundaries Commission has been tabled and among three options it's pushed for constituencies mostly built around the country's traditional island divisions.

But as our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu reports the Government has proposed an alternative that would have voters in outlying islands such as Eua, the Niuas and Ha'apai, attached to Tongatapu seats.

"And that is the one that is being talked about. That's the one that is expected to be passed by Parliament. And it appears that democracy will come to Tonga but the form and shape - that's the issue that's up for grabs and it appears that the Government has the majority in Parliament to pass their option."