23 Jul 2008

Tonga Parliament sets up Commission to look into reforms for 2010 polls

5:04 pm on 23 July 2008

The Tonga Parliament has passed legislation setting up a Constitution and Electoral Commission which is to consider the nature of political reforms expected to be in place in time for elections in 2010.

The Commission will be made up of five commissioners, with one nominated by Cabinet, one by the Nobles, one by the People's Representatives and two by the Judicial Services Commission.

The legislation specifies that the Commissioners cannot be members of the Legislative Assembly or Cabinet.

The Commission will examine and inquire into and report back to the Government, the Assembly and the people on the type of reforms needed.

It is to take into account reports by the National Committee for Political Reform and the Assembly's Tripartite Committee.

In addition they have been directed to consider the views of King George Tupou 5th, the Cabinet, MPs, the public and legal and other experts.

It is to report back in ten months and can convene a national constitution convention if this is considered necessary.