Tonga

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Tonga is the only constitutional monarchy in the Pacific. Between 2006 and 2010, Tonga underwent a major constitutional reform and democratisation process. Following the reforms, the Legislative Assembly now comprises of 17 members elected by the entire country (called People's Representatives), 9 members elected by the Nobles of Tonga and up to 4 members appointed by the King. The Prime Minster is then chosen from amongst the members of the House.

The first elections under the new electoral system were held in 2010, and to be held every four years thereafter. No women were elected during the elections. However, the King chose to appoint two members to the Legislative Assembly - one of whom is a woman, the Honourable Dr. 'Ana Maui Taufe'ulungaki.   

Tonga will hold its second general elections under the new electoral system on November 27th 2014. Election of members is conducted under the simple majority voting system of 'First-Past-the-Post' (FPTP) where the candidate with the most votes is elected. 

The Tonga Electoral Commission has now announced a total of 106 candidates who are now confirmed to stand in the upcoming elections, 16 of whom are women (15.09%).  In terms of voter registration, according to the Tonga Electoral Commission, as of September 22nd 2014, a total of 50,450 voters registered for the elections - 51% of whom were female voters.  

UNDP in partnership with the Legislative Assembly of Tonga facilitated a 'Practice Parliament training for women in Tonga' in April 2014 where 28 potential women candidates underwent substantive briefings on key development issues relevant to Tonga and identified by the women. the participants also underwent Parliament procedural briefings as well as on the role of Parliament. UN Women also provided leadership and women's empowerment training (as part of its Empowerment series for several Pacific countries) in July 2014, which included most of the women who had undergone the Practice Parliament training earlier in the year.

It is encouraging to see that at least six of the women who participated in the Practice Parliament training for women in Tonga are standing in the upcoming elections, namely Ana Bing FonuaLemasingo Tania NaiSipola HalafihiGabriella ‘Ilolahia‘Ilisapesi Baker, and Seketi Fuko.   

Ilisapesi Tau’akitangata Seli Baker – Tu’atakilangi
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 1
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Emeline ‘Uheina Tuita – Kolomotu’a
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 1
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Ana Kanume Bing Fonua – Hala’ovave
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 1
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Gabriella Renne Blake ‘Ilolahia – Fasimoeafi
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 3
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Mele Teusivi ‘Amanaki – Ma’ufanga
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 3
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Seketi Fo’ou Fuko – Ma’ufanga
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 4
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Lia Manatu Faoa – Kanokupolu
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 5
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Pinomi Prescott – Ha’ateiho
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 7
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Mavaetangi Manavahetau – Tokomololo
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 7
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Sipola Fakaanga Havili Halafihi – Ha’ateiho
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 7
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Lemasingo Tania Nai – Fua’amotu
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 9
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Seini Teu – Navutoka
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 10
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Tongovua T. Toloke Appleton – Hunga
Party:
Electorate: Vava’u 14
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Elieta Sapate Toke – Fungamisi
Party:
Electorate: Vava’u 15
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Silivia Loumaile Mahe – Angaha
Party:
Electorate: Eua
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

Vika Fusimalohi – Tatakamotonga
Party:
Electorate: Tongatapu 9
Province:
Political Status: Registered Candidate

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