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Tonga's Constitution among the oldest in the world

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

By Finau Fonua

Tongans had a day-off on Monday, November 3, as the Kingdom observed a national holiday celebrating its 139 year-old Constitution.

The Tongan Constitution was formulated in 1875 on November 4 by King Taufa’ahau Tupou I, establishing Tonga as a modern constitutional monarchy. The constitution continues its legal premise over the Kingdom to this day.

The Tongan constitution is the ninth oldest existing national constitution (written) in the world. It is the second oldest existing constitution in the Southern Hemisphere, behind the constitution of Argentina.

The United States Government released a statement giving its “warmest wishes to the people of Tonga”. However, the statement was mistakenly titled “Tonga Independence Day”.