20 Nov 2017

Commonwealth pays tribute to Tongan women MPs

3:48 pm on 20 November 2017

The head of the Commonwealth Observer Group says having two successful women candidates in last week's Tongan election may be the start of greater representation in the country's politics.

Tongan MP 'Akosita Lavulavu.

Tongan MP 'Akosita Lavulavu. Photo: RNZI/Koroi Hawkins

Since 1951 there have only been eight women in Tonga's parliament, and only five elected.

On Thursday Losaline Ma'asi joined 'Akosita Lavulavu as an elected representative.

Former New Zealand cabinent minister Margaret Wilson led the Commonwealth team that observed the elections for the first time.

Ms Wilson said the election of the two women was significant.

"I think it does show progress and the level was much more professional and sophisticated and I think at the next election you will certainly see further campaigns from women candidates and hopefully they will produce more women being elected."

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