New Parline: the IPU’s Open Data Platform (beta)
Your one-stop-shop for information about national parliaments

Tonga

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Legislative Assembly

Election results

Data on parliamentary elections, including the background, candidates, voter turnout, results and the formation of the new legislature. By default the latest election results are displayed. Select a date to view results from previous elections

Background

Election date(s) The date when elections started and ended for directly or indirectly elected parliaments/chambers. The date of appointments for appointed parliaments/chambers.
16.11.2017
Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature Date at which the previous legislature (elected at the previous elections) was dissolved.
24.08.2017
Timing of election Timing of election: Upon normal expiry; Early elections; Delayed elections
Early election
Expected date of next elections The expected date at which the next elections should take place, based on law or practice.
30.11.2021
Number of seats at stake Number of seats contested at the elections. Where the parliament/chamber is fully renewed, this number is usually identical to the statutory number of members. Where the parliament/chamber is partially renewed or appointed, the number of seats at stake is usually less than the total number of members.
17
Scope of elections Scope of elections: Full renewal; Partial renewal.
Full renewal

Candidates

Total number of candidates Total number of people who registered as candidates for election. Does not include people who stood as candidates to become "substitute members".
86
Number of male candidates Number of male candidates
71
Number of female candidates Number of female candidates
15
Percentage of women candidates The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of women candidates by the total number of candidates.
17.44%

There is no party system, or all candidates stood as independents.

Voter turnout

Registration Number of people registered to vote
59,003
Votes Number of people who actually voted
39,612
Voter turnout The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of people who actually voted by the number of people registered to vote
67.14%

Results

About the election Short description of the context and results of the election.
Snap elections in 2017 gave a resounding victory to the former Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva, dismissed by the King in August. Independent candidates (see note 1) supporting Mr. Pohiva took 14 of the 17 directly-elected seats - up from eight previously - in the 30-member Legislative Assembly (see note 2). Two women were elected, compared to none in 2014. Lord Tangi became the Acting Speaker to oversee the process of electing a Prime Minister. On 18 December, the Legislative Assembly re-elected Mr. Pohiva as Prime Minister. On 24 August, King Tupou VI dissolved parliament and called snap elections, without giving any reasons but stating that he had received advice from the Speaker, Lord Tu'ivakano. In a statement issued on 28 August, the Speaker accused the Government of "attempting to concentrate powers in Cabinet by gradually weaning away the powers of the King in Privy Council" and having "trespassed on the King's powers to make treaties", citing the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus, signed by the Government in June 2017. On 30 August, the Attorney General said the signature of the treaty was not valid as it was not presented to the King for approval. The Government stated "The process is to sign first and then the ratification" by the King. Note 1: Tonga does not have a party system and all candidates formally ran as independents. The 14 independent candidates elected belong to the so-called Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands (DPFI), led by the Prime Minister. The DPFI took eight seats in the 2014 elections. Note 2: The Legislative Assembly also comprises the representatives of the nobles (currently nine) and all members of the Cabinet. The Cabinet may include no more than four persons who are not elected to the Legislative Assembly (Clause 51 of the Constitution). The Legislative Assembly may thus comprise up to 30 members.
Alternation of power after elections The results of the elections caused a change in the government. "Not applicable" to countries using the presidential system when parliamentary and presidential elections are held separately, to countries in political transition or where there is no party system.
No
Members elected, by sex
Number of men elected
25
Number of women elected
2
Percentage of women elected The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of women elected in the election and the number of seats at stake at the election.
11.76%
Note on the Distribution of seats according to sex
Two women were directly elected in 2017. The new Cabinet, formed in January 2018, includes one male member who was not elected to the Legislative Assembly. As cabinet ministers also sit in parliament, the Legislative Assembly comprises a total of 28 members of whom two were women.
Sources
Legislative Assembly (20.11.2017, 16.01.2018, 17.01.2018) Supervisor of Election (14.01.2018) Electoral Commission Matangi Tonga Radio NZ East Asia Forum Pacific Islands Report
Women Directly Elected
2

New legislature

Total number of men after the election The total number of male parliamentarians in this parliament/chamber following the election or renewal, regardless of their modes of designation.
2
Total number of women after the election The total number of female parliamentarians in this parliament/chamber following the election or renewal, regardless of their modes of designation.
25
Date of the first session The date when the newly elected parliament/chamber was convened for the first time. It may be different from the date when members were sworn in.
18.12.2017
First Speaker of the new legislature
First Speaker of the new legislature First name of the Speaker of the new legislature following the election or renewal.
Lord Fakafanua (Male)
Date of election
18.12.2017