12 women standing in Tonga elections in November 2021

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30th September, 2021

[30 September 2021] – Tongans go to the polls on November 18 with less candidates than the previous two elections. There are 75 candidates for the 17 democratically-elected seats – down from 86 in 2017 and 104 in 2014.  Among those, 12 women are standing.

Kalafi Moala says these numbers show people have become disenchanted with the performance of their parliamentarians. Mr Moala says the criticism of MPs by King Tupou the Sixth during the last session has tapped into how people view politicians.

“He was saying something that the public had known, that there were a lot of expressions of opinion on that. And what I think is that there were a lot of people who had intended to run for parliament, so being in parliament is no longer a big thing for some people. But one of the key factors is that I notice is that a lot of young people are running,” he said.

“We are going to see the old guard out and a new crop coming up. And the other thing too that is a huge factor is we are not going to see people voting according to political groupings. There will be a lot of independents and that’s a huge factor perpetrated by the candidates.”

The two main groups are the PAK led by Prime Minister, Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa, and the PTOA party, which was established by the late prime minister and democracy campaigner, ‘Akilisi Pohiva. The noble families will also choose candidates to stand for the nine seats reserved for the nobility.

Source: https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/452627/new-look-tongan-parliament-likely

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