14 Sep 2010

Tonga Government lays out timetable for November election

12:50 pm on 14 September 2010

The Tongan government is asking the kingdom's Legislative Assembly to sit late and long to deal with several important bills before it's dissolved at the end of the month in time for the November 25th election.

The government's issued a timetable setting out the legal process in the run-up to the election of a new assembly whose members will for the first time be mainly elected by the people.

King George Tupou the fifth will dissolve the current Assembly on September the 30th and the Electoral Commission is likely to call for candidates' nominations by October the 22nd.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister's office, Lopeti Senituli, says there's no question all bills will be passed within the next two and a half weeks.

"There's quite a few, some of which are crucial to the actual political reform that kicks in on the 25th of November and some of them are supplementary but we are confident that all these important bills can become law."

The government says the King must be advised of the election result no later than December the 9th and the new Legislative Assembly must meet within six weeks of that date.

The current Prime Minister and his cabinet will continue in caretaker mode after the election until the new leadership's announced.