His Majesty King Tupou VI has appointed Rt. Hon. Lord Tangi as the Interim Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga, effective from Saturday 20 November 2021.
In his role as Interim Speaker of Parliament, Lord Tangi will preside and lead the constitutional process to elect the Prime Minister Designate from the Representatives who have been elected as Members of Parliament in the General Election, which took place on 18 November 2021.
Lord Tangi has now taken on responsibility for the Office of the Legislative Assembly in overseeing the arrangements for implementation of the processes required by law.
The constitutional process now awaits the return of the writ of election to His Majesty, King Tupou VI, by the Electoral Commission. The writ of election must be returned by 2nd December 2021. The date of return of the writ is crucial as it triggers the timeframes outlined in the Constitution for completion of the process for election of the Prime Minister Designate.
Within 10 days from the return of the writ of election, the Interim Speaker must issue an invitation to all elected Representatives to submit nominations for Prime Minister Designate. Nominations must be received within 14 days from the date of return of the writ.
A nomination of a candidate for Prime Minister Designate can be submitted in writing by an elected Representative, given it is seconded by two other elected Representatives. No elected representative who has proposed or seconded a candidate, may propose or second another candidate.
Within 3 days from closing date for receiving nominations, the Interim Speaker must summon a meeting of the elected Representatives. The Prime Minister election will be carried out by secret ballot during this meeting. The election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament will also be made at this same meeting.
The Office of the Interim Speaker of Parliament will continue to provide more information on the Prime Minister election process over the coming weeks, so as to keep the nation informed.