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Should Members of Parliament declare their business interests?

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Your comments, MPs Interests:

KATENI T LEAKEHE, Major, JA, USA - 11 Feb 2005: Anyone running for Parliament should be required to declare his or her business interest. Transparency, integrity, and competition are hallmarks of good governance, and responsible officials should be willing to declare their business interests in order to avoid conflict of interests.

ALAMA ULUAVE, Hawaii - 18 Jan 2005: Yes, Members of Parliment must declare any “conflict of interests” and voluntarily remove themselves from voting on specific issues. In fact, this standard of conduct should apply to all governmental positions of the Kingdom of Tonga! Kitenoa.

HARRY SOUKOP, Honolulu, Hawaii - 17 Jan 2005: In order to prevent conflicts of interest, it is common practice that candidates, running for office, should declare their business interests and practices, past and present, for Parliament to be screened and scrutinized. This will avoid any conflicts of interest, delays and disappointments.and most certainly will cut down and enhance the selection process.

TUPOU LAYTON, New York, USA - 14 Jan 2005: I believe all members of the Tongan Parliament should declare their business interests first before election time.

These are some major factors to be considered: 1. What type of business interest? 2. How will their business interest help the people of Tonga, name each geographic area and must show plan a, b, c, etc. and how it should apply to help the people and improve the economy, lift poverty, create jobs, improve health care, help small businesses, etc. 3. Their skills and education, must considered and approved by the people, what are their accomplishments? And how it will help the people or the country? 4. Show proof of financial capability before running for parliament seat? 5. Each members must show their qualification, and how it will apply to help the people and the government.

I have viewed the list of potential members for paliamentary election and wish the people of Tonga would consider some of the above factors before electing members.

These members must have a great plan, show proof of plan first before election time, perhaps a debate should score how good is each of their plans.

They must have an excellent reputation and be skillful in areas of their business interest.

2005 should be the year for Transformation for the Government of Tonga, people should carefully pick their representive and elect someone who will care and have a successful plan to help the people and Government of Tonga.