21 May 2019

NZ gives $NZ1m to improving electoral process in Tonga

2:44 pm on 21 May 2019

New Zealand has committed nearly $US1 million to help improve the electoral process in Tonga.

no caption

Photo: 123RF

On Monday an agreement was signed between the two countries' electoral commissions, launching a three year programme funded by the New Zealand government.

Matangi Tonga reported it aims to address issues like improved access for voters, transparency of campaign financing, better media coverage and overseas voting.

The Chair of Tonga's Electoral Commission Lord Dalgety said a key area they are concerned with is electoral education.

He said while the commission wants to increase voter participation, he does not want to go down the path of fining people if they didn't vote.

Lord Dalgety said it's a privilege to vote, not a duty.

At the end of the project recommendations will be submitted to the government and parliament.

The next general elections are scheduled for 2021.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs