THE Speaker of the Legislative Assembly has challenged legislators to make it a priority to deliver their best for the common good of the nation.
Lord Fakafanua made the remarks when he officially closed the three-day induction program for the Members of Parliament today.
In his closing remarks he quoted Siaosi Tupou I’s past speech in Parliament where he stressed that MPs foremost duties from God for Tonga - to prioritize work for the best interest of the nation.
The Lord Speaker said in day one there were expectations that upon the completion of the program, MPs will improve their understanding and knowledge on their roles and responsibilities, Parliament rules and conventions. He is optimistic the MPs have achieved that goal.
The Speaker has been following their discussion in the past days. Hearing their contribution, recommendations and their questions on issues including the separation of power, Bills and Regulation and constituency grant among other issues, the Speaker is positive this will definitely help to move Parliament forward.
For that reason, he also challenged them to deliver their utmost best for the people now they have learnt different parliamentary tools to use for the efficiency and effectiveness of their legislative work.
He also suggested that their representative role is not about raising important issues in Parliament for the public to hear it. Instead, more action is needed for the MPs to address it. One option is seeking external fund, amending Bills and Regulations as offered solutions to problems they constantly raised in Parliament.
The Speaker also suggested, it is the MPs responsibility to submit a Motion in Parliament and in the Committee. And they should also aim for a Bill submission that can be enacted and become a Legislation following the King’s royal assent.
He also extended his well wishes to them in all their endeavors for the benefit of Tonga.
The Lord Speaker also acknowledged the kind support of the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, through the Pacific Parliamentary Effectiveness Initiative (PPEI) funded by the New Zealand Government in close partnership with the Legislative Assembly of Tonga.
Lord Fakafanua Speaker also extended his sincere appreciation for the two parliamentary experts - the former Deputy Clerks of the New Zealand and Tonga Parliament respectively, Ms. Debra Angus and Dr. Mele Vaitohi for their great contribution in sharing knowledge, skills and experience with MPs to help our Parliament.
Lord Fakafanua also invited the MPs for another induction program on March 21-23 with parliamentarians from the Pacific Parliaments in attendance in a partnership program funded by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).
New MP’s including the only female elected MP in Parliament, Dulcie Tei of Tongatapu constituency 6 and Tongatapu constituency 8 MP, Vaea Taione found the three-day event very informative and constructive to help them with their legislative duties.
‘Eua 11 MP, Dr. Taniela Fusimālohi said the induction program helps MPs to have the same understanding and knowledge regarding the rules and parliament’s convention to avoid wasting time and prolonged debate in the House.