23 Nov 2017

Tongan women celebrate political progress

From , 6:03 am on 23 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 parliament.

Since 1951 there have only been eight women in Tonga's parliament, including five elected, but now Losaline Ma'asi has joined the re-elected 'Akosita Lavulavu in the House.

Jenny Meyer reports

Former New Zealand cabinet minister Margaret Wilson led the Commonwealth team that observed the elections for the first time and she says the election of the two women is significant.

'Emeline Siale 'Ilolahia

Executive Director of the Civil Society Forum of Tonga, 'Emeline Siale 'Ilolahia. Photo: RNZ/Koro Vaka'uta