10 Jan 2018

Tonga parliament to open Thursday

8:55 pm on 10 January 2018

Tonga's parliament will be opened tomorrow for the first time since November's snap election.

The old Tongan parliament buildings

The old Tongan parliament buildings Photo: RNZ Pacific/Koro Vaka'uta

The poll followed the dissolution of parliament by King Tupou VI in August over concerns the government was acting unconstitutionally to gather power for itself.

However, the people of Tonga re elected prime minister 'Akilisi Pohiva along with his Democratic Party.

On Thursday, Parliament will be opened by a commission of three nobles, HSH Prince Tu'ipelehake, Lord Fakatulolo and Lord Luani.

One of the commission will speak on behalf of King Tupou VI and then the Speaker will nominate two MPs to submit the House's reply.

Parliament's first sitting day will be confirmed once the King can attend.

MPs are expected to take their oaths of office on that first sitting day.

It is unclear whether Mr Pohiva will attend the soft opening as he has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Vaiola Hospital for the past few days with an undisclosed illness.