14 Nov 2017

Observers say Tongan election build-up positive

2:39 pm on 14 November 2017

The head of the Commonwealth Observer Group attending Thursday's Tonga elections says the build-up to the vote has been positive.

Tonga's caretaker PM 'Akilisi Pohiva

Tonga's caretaker PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Photo: RNZI/Monica Miller

Former New Zealand cabinet minister Margaret Wilson, is leading the first ever Commonwealth Observer team to the country.

Professor Margaret Wilson

Professor Margaret Wilson Photo: Supplied

The election comes a year earlier than scheduled after August's dissolution of parliament by the King over concerns about the conduct of government.

Ms Wilson said the interim Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva requested the mission.

She said despite the unique manner in which the election was brought about, the team has had good feedback from meetings with various community leaders.

"We don't prejudge anything but all I can say is that the meetings so far have been very positive and even though the election was early, the arrangements in terms of enrolment and organising polling booths and those sorts of issues, have been well catered for so far."

Margaret Wilson said the team will release an interim report on Saturday and remain in the country until Monday.

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