|Parliament name (generic / translated)
||Fale Alea / Legislative Assembly
|Structure of parliament
|Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)||23 April 2008
24 April 2008
|Purpose of elections
||Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
|The April 2008 elections were the first to be held since November 2006
when a pro-democracy rally urging the Government to speed up the pace of reform turned into a riot in which eight people were killed and the much of the business district of the capital
was set on fire. The ensuing state of emergency was maintained until the 2008 elections.
Five pro-democracy members of the Legislative Assembly were charged with sedition and abetting a riot
including four from the Friendly Island Human Rights and Democracy Movement (FIHRDM)
and one from the People's Democratic Party (PDP). The FIHRDM had been officially registered as a political party after the March 2005 elections. It split in April 2005
and the defectors formed the PDP under the leadership of Mr. Tesina Fuko.
The 32-member Legislative Assembly is composed of nine directly elected members (commoners)
nine indirectly elected members (nobles)
and 14 members appointed by the King. In the March 2005 elections
pro-democracy candidates won eight of the nine commoners' seats. After the elections
two commoners were appointed to the government for the first time in 130 years of constitutional monarchy. Ms. Lepolo Taunisila was elected in the by-election to fill one of those seats vacated by the two commoners
becoming the first woman to enter the Legislative Assembly since 1980.
Pro-democracy members advocated that political reform be introduced in 2008
including the creation of single nationwide constituency. The Prime Minister promised to introduce reforms in 2010
when the majority of members in the Legislative Assembly are expected to become directly elected.
including the nine outgoing commoners and eight women
were vying for the nine commoner seats. As political parties are not allowed to submit candidates for the elections
all candidates stood as independents. Many of them nevertheless campaigned under the banner of their political party. Under the new campaign rules
candidates were not allowed to broadcast any election programme on the state-owned Tonga Broadcasting Corporation
prompting accusations of censorship.
On 24 April
46.69 per cent of some 68
000 registered voters turned out for the elections.
Four FIHRDM and two PDP candidates were elected. The three remaining seats were won by independent candidates who are also reportedly close to the pro-democracy parties. Four of the outgoing members charged in connection with the 2006 riot were re-elected
including Mr. 'Akilisi Pohiva (FIHRDM) who won the highest number of votes (11
In the indirect elections for noble representatives held the day before
all 29 eligible nobles cast their ballot. Outgoing Speaker Tu'iha'angana lost his seat. No women were elected.
On 2 May
King George Tupou V appointed Mr. Tu'ilakepa
a noble representative from Vava'u
as the new Speaker. The newly elected Legislative Assembly held its first session on 29 May.
|Round no 1 (from/to)||23 April 2008
24 April 2008
|Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
| Distribution of votes
|Distribution of seats
|Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
|Distribution of seats according to age
|Distribution of seats according to profession
- Legislative Assembly (23.07.2009)
- Prime Minister's Office (30.07.2008
Note on the number of women:
No women were elected in 2008. One woman was appointed to the Cabinet. As cabinet ministers also sit in parliament
there is one woman out of a total of 32 members. (Prime Minister's Office