TONGA ELECTION LAST UNDER CURRENT CONSTITUTION

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70 candidates vie for nine "People’s" seats

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, April 21, 2008) – The Pacific island Kingdom of Tonga will hold its last national election under the current constitution on Thursday.

Radio Australia's Pacific Correspondent Campbell Cooney is in the capital Nuku'alofa, and says 71 candidates are vying for nine People's seats in the Tongan parliament.

While the elections won't reduce the ultimate power King George has over Tonga's government, laws and people, the next election in 2010 will be held under a changed constitution, in which the majority of ministers and representatives will be elected by the people.

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