9 Oct 2014

Tongan parliament opens up for public education

2:53 pm on 9 October 2014

The Tongan Parliament has been opened up to the public for the first time in an effort to help people understand how it works.

The Tongan Legislature has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to hold the first so-called Parliament Week.

Speaker of the House Lord Fakafanua says the initative is timely, with elections due next month.

"We're trying to get people to be more involved and to actually understand how parliament works. By opening up the parliament a lot of people are coming in this week and have never been into the house or seen what it's all about. I think by having them more involved and actually feeling and touching and walking into the place they get a better understanding of how the system works and their role they have to play in democracy."

Lord Fakafanua says more than 750 high school students are expected to come through on customised programmes and four information stations have been set up for the general public.

Prime Minister's office, Tonga

Prime Minister's office, Tonga Photo: Supplied