25 Nov 2010

Polls in Tonga open for historic general elections

8:55 am on 25 November 2010

The voting polls have opened in Tonga for the country's general election.

For the first time, Tongans will vote for 17 of the 26 MPs, with the 33 noble families choosing nine nobles representatives.

Richard Pamatatau reports from Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa.

"The outgoing prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele says people in Tonga are ready for political change. Observers from the New Zealand government say the vote today is important for Tonga as its political system develops. The Labour MP Shane Jones says Tongans will decide who they see best to represent them and New Zealand will support that choice. The National MP for Wairarapa, John Hayes, says this election is historic in the development of Tonga."