TONGA POLITICAL REFORM PROPOSALS BEFORE KING

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Recommendations to be announced tomorrow

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 5, 2009) – The recommendations for political reform developed by Tonga’s Constitutional and Electoral Commission will be made public tomorrow.

The Commission, which was created by legislation a year ago, presented its report to King George Tupou 5th today.

The Commission had been directed to come up with proposals for reform to usher in greater democracy, ahead of elections expected in November next year.

[PIR editor’s note: The The five members of the Constitutional and Electoral Commission are the chairman, Justice Gordon Ward (a former Chief Justice of Tonga), who was recommended by Cabinet, and members: ’Alipate T. Vaea, recommended by Nobles’ Representatives; Dr Sitiveni Halapua (Director of the Pacific Islands Development Program at the East-West Center in Honolulu), recommended by People’s Representatives; and Dr ’Ana M. Taufe’ulungaki and Sione T. Fonua, both recommended by the Judicial Services Commission. The Commission noted in an earlier Interim Report that "the change from a paternalistic system of appointed ministers under a benevolent monarch to an elected government answerable to the people who elected them is profound."]

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