THE Legislative Assembly’s session for 2011 was officially closed today in a soft closing ceremony.
The House was closed by three Nobles representatives, namely Lord Vaea, Lord Ma’afu and Lord Fakafanua.
A closing speech that is normally delivered by his Majesty King George Tupou V from the throne was read out by Lord Vaea.
In addressing the Speaker and members of the House, Lord Vaea informed them that successful appointments were made for the interim positions of Attorney General and the Lord Chancellor.
According to Lord Vaea, this has been done according to a legislation enacted earlier this year.
However he also revealed that Tonga’s Judicial Appointments and Discipline Panel are also working towards nominating two experienced candidates to fill up the two permanent positions.
The House was also informed that Lord Chancellor has the responsibility to protect the administration of the courts and as well as maintaining judicial independence.
On economic matters, Lord Vaea said despite the impact of the global financial crisis Tonga seems to cope with those challenges.
“Government continues to receive financial budget support from donor countries as well as from international donor agencies. The balance of trade and foreign exchange is satisfactory which in turn helps to reduce inflation.
However renewable energy is one of the many factors that impact the costs of goods and living.
In that regard, government works with Meridian Company, New Zealand government and World Bank in efforts to divert Tonga Power’s non renewable energy into solar energy,” explained Lord Vaea.
Lord Vaea added that there’s hope the solar energy would help to reduce the cost of power electricity. Similar project is also scheduled for Vava’u.
The House was also told that government is negotiating a way to export fuel in bulk level from Singapore and build bigger oil refinery in Nuku’alofa to reduce prices of this widely used energy.
Parliamentarians were also informed that government have completed negotiation with the Asian Development Bank’s for funding of an international fiber option cable project. Such development is expected to be up and running by next year, according to Lord Vaea.
“Such developments will pave the way for easier and faster internet connection service that will help to boost commercial, social and economic activities, according to Lord Vaea.
In regards to the World Rugby World Cup, Lord Vaea noted the importance of such spectacular event but highlighted the fact that it greatly helps to boost Tonga’s tourism.
“In that regard, there’s hope more tourists would visit our kingdom and open better opportunities for our talented rugby players to play rugby overseas,” maintained Lord Vaea.
He also conveyed a sincerely thanks to the Tonga Rugby Union’s Board, Head Coach as well as the ‘Ikale Tahi players for making us all proud because of their spectacular performance during the Rugby World Cup tournament.
Lord Vaea also thanked the donor countries like governments of Japan, Australia, People’s Republic of China, New Zealand as well as donor agencies the World Bank and the Asian Development Banks for their continuous support throughout the year.
In also addressing the members of Parliament, Speaker of the House, Lord Lasike said this year’s parliamentary sittings marks the first in Tonga’s history in moving Tonga forward into a more democratic government.
“It is the first time we get public opinions and public consultations and let their voices be heard in Parliament, “said the Hon. Speaker.
Lord Lasike also spoke on behalf of the Deputy Speaker of Parliament in wishing MPs a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
Parliament is scheduled to reopen its 2012 sessions in February.