NEW TONGA POLITICAL PARTY TARGETS DEVELOPMENT

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NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Aug. 22) - A new political party, called the Paati Langafonua Tu'uloa or "PLT," was officially launched by its president Sione Fonua at the Basilica, Nuku'alofa, on Saturday, August 18.

The party's immediate working objective is to identify nine "good candidates" from its constituencies for the February 2008 Parliamentary General Election. Sione said that attracting good people to join the party is top in their working agenda.

He explained that the name 'Langafonua' - to develop the land or country covers all aspects of our lives, educational, social and cultural and it projects the vision of the party.

"Whatever can be done to raise the standard of life of the Tongans is what the party will strive for. Tu'uloa - everlasting, is what we would like that standard of life to remain."

The interim secretary for the Langafonua Tu'uloa, Kamipeli Tofa, said that the party is structured in way that would make it relatively easy for them to get good candidates who could go on to become members of parliament. He said that anyone may become a member of the party by simply paying a subscription fee.

"In every village and in Tongan communities overseas there will be a committee who will elect their own representatives to the District Councils, which will meet every three months. These councils will then elect their representatives to the annual conference, which will elect the seven members of the executive committee. The executive committee consists of the President, Secretary, Treasurers and four members."

Kamipeli said that at the annual conference members would review reports from their parliamentary committees, look at the Manifesto of the party and any issues that are raised by the executive committee.

The launching of the PLT ceremony was chaired by 'Ofa Fakalata, the MC was Soape Tuiono, and the meeting was attended mainly by town and district officers.

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