6 Mar 2009

A Tonga political party promotes a two tier parliament

4:38 pm on 6 March 2009

Tonga's Langafonua Tu'uloa political party says its proposed system of government is designed to bring political reform to the country without changing the political framework too drastically.

Langafonua, which currently has two MPs, is one of a range of groups which has submitted a proposed changes in the composition of parliament to the the Constitutional and Electoral Commission which is considering key aspects of political reform.

Langafonua has proposed a 27 seat-parliament with nine nobles and nine people's representatives elected on a three year basis as well as nine extra seats for six year terms.

The party's secretary, Kamipeli Tofa, says only people aged over 35 would be eligible for the six-year terms as what he calls "representative statemen".

"They are three members to be elected on Tongatapu, just like the people's Representatives, two at Ha'apai, two at Vava'u, one each for Eua and the Niuas. It's supposed to be an idea of having people who are mature in statesmanship and politics, somebody who has some special experience and qualifications, who can then help the governing of the country."