19 Oct 2012

Tonga parliament closes for 2012

4:06 pm on 19 October 2012

The 2012 session of the Tongan Parliament has been closed with the Crown Prince reading a speech from King Tupou VI.

The King used the occasion to remind Parliamentarians to govern in the interests of their representatives and to put personal and political interests aside.

The King mentioned the prolonged debate in the Parliament on the opposition motion for a vote of no confidence in the Government, which was defeated by two votes early last week.

Alex Perrottet reports.

"The speech from King Tupou VI was read out by Crown Prince Tupouto'a 'Ulukalala and Matangi Tonga reports that the King reminded representatives and Nobles that the best interest of the country as a whole should always be foremost in their thinking and not that of individual needs or political beliefs. The King also expressed hope that solar farms would reduce electricity prices and said the best way to halt the rise in non-communicable diseases was lifestyle change. In the Prime Minister's speech, Lord Tu'ivakano praised the Chairman of the Whole House Committee, Sifa Tu'utafaiva, calling him the man of the year for his smooth running of debates in the house. The Tongan Parliament will resume early next year although no date has been set as yet."