30 Nov 2004

Tonga elections set for early next year

7:48 pm on 30 November 2004

Tonga's parliamentary elections will be held in March next year, when the people will select nine of the country's 30 MPs and the 33 nobles will choose nine from among themselves.

The PACNEWS agency reports that Tonga's senior electoral officer, Pita Vuki says registration for the elections will be opened in January, though an exact date for the poll is yet to be set.

He says next year's election will be different from previous polls because for the first time elected members will be eligible to be appointed as cabinet ministers.

Mr Pita said candidates have been levied a 104 US dollar registration fee.