On Tuesday, March 12, Parliament started off with a bang when the Speaker reminded Commoners in the House that they would start with the Land (Amendment) Bill 2013, but under Clause 67 of the Constitution only nobles could debate and vote on matters relating to the entitlement of nobles. The bill was one of three relating to constitutional change regarding penalties for nobles and civil servants who are convicted of an indictable offence. Under the existing law convicted people are disabled from holding government office, voting and being elected, and includes loss of noble titles. The proposed constitutional change applies the loss of rights to only people who are sentenced to more than two years imprisonment. From the House by Pesi Fonua.
The 2013 session of the Tongan Legislative Assembly got off to a lively start on Thursday, 7 March, as members queried who had the right to call for this special and urgent session of the Tongan Parliament, and why? Lord Nuku expressed his astonishment over the fact that a special and urgent session of the Tongan Parliament was called for, while the leaders of the country, the King, the Prime Minister and the Speaker were all away overseas. From the House By Pesi Fonua.
Tonga’s King Tupou VI held a two-day meeting with 21 nobles at the Royal Palace, Nuku’alofa from October 23-24, to discuss the Nobles’ leadership roles, and their guardianship of Tongan traditions, culture, and the land.