TONGA
Parliamentary Chamber: Fale Alea

ELECTIONS HELD IN 1999

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Chamber:
  Fale Alea


Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  11 March 1999


Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the elective seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office


Background and outcome of elections:

  Issues debated during the campaign for the 1999 elections (for the nine commoners' representatives) focused on the economy, constitutional reforms aimed at a more democratic political system and allegations of corruption against some members of the royal family other than King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV, who enjoyed continued popularity after 34 years as Head of State. Both Crown Prince Tupouto'a and a fledgling democracy movement (the People's Party, founded in 1994 and led by Mr. Huliki Watab) lobbied for a popularly elected parliament and a reduction in the King's vast powers which include presiding over the Cabinet and appointing its members for life-time terms.

On 10 March - the day before the commoner polling - the heads of 33 noble families chose their nine representatives to the Legislative Assembly. The next day, over 50% of the country's registered electors cast votes. According to final results, pro-democracy candidates lost some ground, dropping their commoner seat total from seven to five of the nine at stake. Following the poll, Mr. Langi Kavaliku was named as Prime Minister to replace the long-serving Baron Vaea, who had retired.

STATISTICS
Round no 1 (11 March 1999): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 54 912
Voters 27 867 (51 %)

Comments:
  There are no parties in Tonga

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 30
Women: 0
Percent of women: 0


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Copyright 1999 Inter-Parliamentary Union