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His Majesty has appointed Rt Hon Lord Tupou K.C as the Interim Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga effective from last Friday, November 28th, 2014.

In a Press Release issued from the Office of the Interim Speaker states the appointment of the  Interim  Speaker was made  pursuant  to clause 61 and subsection (8) of the Schedule of the Act of the Constitution of Tonga.

This provides that the King shall appoint an Interim Speaker following a general election, to be made within seven days from  the declaration of the result  of the general election.

The Interim Speaker  is responsible for presiding over the  meeting of the elected Representatives for the purpose of electing a Prime Minister as well as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of  the Legislative  Assembly.

THE 2014 general election saw five incumbent People's Representatives to Parliament retaining their seats and 12 new incoming MPs to serve for the 2015-2018 parliamentary term.

AROUND 51,500 registered voters in Tonga will go to the polls tomorrow, November 27 to elect the new Government.

This year’s general election sees 105 candidates including 16 women who are vying for the 17 People Representatives’ seats in Parliament.

The election starts at 9.00am and finishes at 4.00pm in 169 polling stations throughout Tonga.

Meanwhile Nobles will elect their own Representatives in Parliament for the next four years starting at 10.00 in the morning.

UNDP Parliamentary Research Officer, Ms Silivia ‘Atiola is amongst three recipients of a prestigious Pacific Skills Scholarship offered by Pacific Women’s Parliamentary Partnerships Projected funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The project has three end-of-program objectives and they are:
1) Pacific women parliamentarians including Tongans are supported in their parliamentary and representational work and are better able to use parliamentary mechanisms to raise gender equality issues;

2) Pacific Parliaments Tonga included have improved mechanisms to raise and effectively consider gender equality issues and engage their communities on those issues; and

3) Parliamentary staff have improved capacity to support the gender equality work of parliaments including Tonga.
As part of the placement, Ms. ‘Atiola is expected to:

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