About 30 candidates, including 10 women, signed up for Tonga's historic election within the first hour of registration on Thursday.
The election in November will see Tongans vote for the majority of their MPs for the first time.
Radio Tonga reports prospective candidates began queuing outside the Electoral Commission in Nuku'alofa before it opened at 9am.
Elections supervisor Pita Vuki is anticipating about 170 candidates will register to contest the 17 seats by the deadline at the end of Friday afternoon.
Dr Viliami Tangi, the caretaker Prime Minister and Minister of Health, has announced he will seek election.