Changes in Tonga as first results come in from General Election
More than 51,000 Tongan voters were eligible to go the polls today to elect the 17 representatives of the people in the 26 seat Legislative Assembly. Polling stations were open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time and first results suggest major changes with just three of the ten incumbent MPs being re-elected.
The nobles have also elected their nine representatives and have re-elected the Prime Minister, Lord Tu’ivakano to his parliamentary seat.
This was the second election where the people elect the majority of the parliamentarians. Before 2010 they were equal with the Nobility who now elect nine members to parliament.
There were 105 candidates standing, down from 144 candidates in 2010. Turnout in 2010 was 91.5%.
In 2010 the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands won 12 seats and Independents picked up the balance. The Democratic Party is the only party which contested all 17 seats
Other parties contesting the elections are the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sustainable Nation-Building Party and the Tongan Democratic Labor Party.