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TONGATAPU 1 MP has been awarded the 2013 Defender of Democracy awards of the Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) in Columbia.

PGA news reports the awards ceremony was awarded by Bogota’s Mayor, Gustavo Petro to the Tongan MP on Sunday (December 8, 2013) at the Salón Huitaka, City Hall in Bogota Colombia.

PGA presented the 2013 Defender of Democracy Awards to Mr. Samuela 'Akilisi Pohiva, MP of Tonga and Dr. Noor Jehan Panezai and Hon. Naveed Qamar, MP on behalf of The PGA Pakistan National Group.

The occasion was held in conjunction with PGA’s 35th Annual Parliamentary Forum.

According to PGA’s Forum website “the Defender of Democracy Award is presented to individuals who, through their own commitment and active engagement, have made significant progress in strengthening democracy and democratic practices.

TWO MPs of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga will be amongst over 80 international parliamentarians that will discuss the future of global development agenda at the Houses of Parliament, London from November 26-28th.

The Speaker’s choice award was announced during the closing dinner of Pacific Parliaments’ regional workshop at Lunarossa Restaurant, ‘Anana last Friday.

Walter Holakeituai’s art piece “Fatu” depicts the structure of the Tongan culture in the progress of its transformation and development over time.

In explaining his art piece, Holakeituai said “fatu” portrays the Tongan culture in three eras, the past, present and the future.

“It uses weaving; a traditional art that is common in the culture mostly seen in the production of mats.”

THE regional workshop for Pacific Parliaments in Nuku’alofa last week agreed that regional Parliaments Tonga included should be able to enact gender equality legislation or review existing laws so that they do not discriminate against women.

DEMOCRACY is founded on the participation of both men and women in political, economic and social spheres in society, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) spokesperson.

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