The last session of Tonga's Legislative Assembly before the election of a more democratic parliament in November, finished yesterday in a low key fashion, with King George Tupou the 5th not in attendance and his speech from the throne read by three nobles.
On November the 25th Tongans will vote under a markedly different electoral system that will see most MPs popularly elected.
The King's speech was delivered by Baron Fielakepa, Lord Vaea and Lord Ma'afu and our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says it called for Tongans to seize the chance provided by the historic election.
"The main theme of the King's message was that the people have to take the opportunity in this coming up democratic election to show their political will. In fact he is encouraging them to participate in the upcoming voting."