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King George Tupou VI
Lord Ma'afu, Lord Vaea & Lord Fakafanua

HIS Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala yesterday officially closed the Legislative Assembly parliamentary session for 2011/2012 during a soft closing ceremony.

He was accompanied in bringing His Majesty speech to Parliament by two other nobles, Lord Nuku and Lord Vaha'i.

In representing King Tupou VI, the Crown Prince addressed from the throne and acknowledged the works of government in implementing major political reform in past years in which it was carried out peacefully.

The House was also informed of the completion of requirements for the appointment of the Lord Chancellor and Attorney General.

His Royal Highness said this is an important aspect of the judiciary to ensure the independent and impartiality of the justice system.

The Crown Prince also noted that government has also implemented various programs to boost our economy, reform within government ministries including the infrastructural and communication which aims to raise the people’s standard of living.

With regards to the works of Parliament, Prince Tupouto’a ‘Ulukalala mentioned there’s hope for success with the establishment of different parliamentary work committees.

On development partners, the Crown Prince thanked the governments of Japan, People’s Republic of China, Australia and New Zealand as well as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the European Union (EU) for their continuous efforts in providing assistance to our kingdom.

He ended his speech by wishing the House a fruitful discussion when Parliament reconvenes next month to debate on the national budget for the next financial year as well as discussing other legislations to help raise Tonga’s living standard.

Meanwhile the Legislature’s special sitting on Tuesday unanimously passed two legislations, the National Retirement Benefits Scheme Bill 2011 and the National Spatial Planning and Management Bill 201.

After a lengthy debate that runs into 10 o’clock at night, all members of the House voted in favour of the two legislation.

Parliament will open on June 7th, 2012.

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