The Tongan parliament yesterday, July 28, passed a Bill, raising the alcoholic drinking age from 18 to 21 years old. Alcohol is blamed for fuelling violent behaviour by some teenagers. From the House, by Pesi Fonua
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Tonga has two accumulating government debts that the Minister of Finance, Dr ‘Aisake Eke plans to address during the 2014-15 Financial year.
Hundreds of Tongatapu secondary and tertiary school students with lively brass bands marched through central Nuku’alofa this morning, June 5 to mark the opening of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga 2014 Session. Photos by Linny Folau and Caroline Manu.
Thirty representatives will take part in Tonga’s first “Practice Parliament for Women” on April 10-11 in Nuku’alofa, a two-day event that aims to encourage women to run for parliament in the upcoming 2014 General Election in November.
The Tongan Parliament Whole House Committee passed the Nurse Bill on 26 March, to allow practiced nurses to prescribe medication for patients.
An art piece ‘Fatu’ by Walter Holakeituai (25) of Fanga, a student at Unitech in New Zealand has won the Speaker’s Art Choice Award of $1,000 cash prize.
The resignation of Lord Tu‘iha‘ateiho as the Acting Speaker of the Tonga Legislative Assembly, on Tuesday, 27 August, is the latest fiasco in parliament, since Tonga introduced a new political system at the end of 2010. Editor’s Comment, By Pesi Fonua
Tonga needs to find ways to boost the local economy, said HM King Tupou VI when he opened the 2013 Session of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga at Parliament House, on June 13.
Hundreds of secondary and tertiary school students with lively brass bands from throughout Tongatapu marched through central Nuku’alofa on Thursday, June 13 to mark the opening of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga 2013 Session.
The Minister of Finance, Hon. Lisiate ‘Akolo has launched Tonga’s biggest ever national budget amounting to T$357.6 million for the 2013-14 financial year, and expressed concern over low returns to government from public enterprises.
A new donor-funded programme aims to develop the skills of parliamentarians in order to improve law-making processes in Tonga and to strengthen the ability of the government to build democracy.
The changes to the Constitution [clause 23] regarding the ability to continue to sit in the assembly or hold any office means that a “convicted” person who is sentenced to less than 2 years can still sit in the assembly and hold office. This does send a rather odd message to the public and the world - that the Tongan house of parliament and the Cabinet will allow a convicted person, whose character is thereby reduced, to still hold office! - John Cauchi
A parliamentary education and outreach team is on a mission to inform and equip teachers and students in Tonga’s Secondary Schools with better knowledge of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
A hearing on an application for a Judicial Review of the Report of a Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated how a multi-million pa’anga loan from China was spent on the reconstruction of Nuku’alofa was adjourned to April 4. Five of the six committee members, who are defendants in this case, appeared at the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court on Wednesday January 23 unprepared for the hearing and without legal representation.
Tonga’s former Prime Minister Lord Sevele is calling for a judicial review of the report of a parliamentary select committee, in an application to the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court that will be heard on 23 January 2013.
Claims in Tonga’s parliament that there was an illegal transference of government money to Tongasat have been denied by two Prime Ministers, in a row over how a USD$75 million grant from China to Tonga was used.
Tonga’s democratic adventure during the past two years has been full of intrigues, revelations and challenges. Unfortunately, these goings on have distracted the attention of the Cabinet and the Parliament from the pressing issue of the day, which is to get the Tongan economy back on its feet, or we will become heavily relying on others for our livelihoods. Editor’s Comment, by Pesi Fonua
After putting it off for a month, Tonga’s parliament today rejected a Motion for a Vote of no Confidence in the Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano and his cabinet.
Tonga’s Attorney General, Neil Adsett, said that a Parliamentary Select Committee that investigated the use of a multi million loan from China for the restructuring of Nuku’alofa had done a good job, but its report had no real finding of any person taking money they should not have had, or using money for themselves or against the interest of Tonga. But the Attorney General’s freely expressed opinion has upset the Select Committee’s chairman, ‘Akilisi Pohiva.
The reconstruction of the Nuku’alofa CBD along with the formation of a Nuku’alofa Town Council was intended to play a key part in the economic and political development of Tonga, according to a former Prime Minister, Lord Sevele.