13 Nov 2009

Call for new electoral commission in Tonga

1:59 pm on 13 November 2009

There's a call for New Zealand and Australia to help with the establishment of an Electoral Commission in Tonga if recommendations for greater democracy are endorsed by the Legislative Assembly.

The Constitutional and Electoral Commission made public its recommendations this week and says the setting up of an independent Electoral Commission should be given the highest priority.

Paula Lavulo of the Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa, says this was one of their submissions to the Commission so they're delighted with its inclusion.

He says having such a body to lay the groundwork for the election is a cornerstone of the process.

"We think that this is a very very important commission to make sure that the registration of people is effective and all the preparation for the process, and also it is going to be run by an independent body. We hope that New Zealand and Australia will provide support to this, because I think we don't have the capacity in Tonga to run such an organisation effectively, so we hope that there will be international assistance."

Paula Lavulo of the Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa