Prior to 2010, Tonga’s Legislative Assembly comprised of 12 Cabinet Ministers, two Governors, nine noble’s representatives elected by 33 of their peers, and nine People’s Representatives elected by the people. The Executive consisted of the Privy Council and Cabinet, all of whose members were appointed by the Monarchy.
In 2010, a major political reform occurred with the objective of crafting a more inclusive and representative Parliament and Government. Political reform reflected public demands that both Parliament and Government be more accountable and transparent.
The constitutional amendments in 2010 removed the King’s royal privilege to appoint the Prime Minister and Ministers of Cabinet, and transferred that authority to the Members of the Legislative Assembly Tonga become a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy with a unicameral Legislative Assembly, consisting of 26 elected members, nine of whom are elected from among the country’s 33 hereditary nobles, and 17 on the basis of universal adult suffrage in a general election which took place every four years.
Our Political System is based on the principle that power is distributed across three arms of government they are Parliament, the Executive, and the Judiciary. Parliament table bills and pass them into laws, the Executive administers the law (for example through the Ministry of Police) and the Judiciary interprets the law through the courts.
Tonga is one of those countries that has a written Constitution. This simply means, the Constitution is the Supreme Law of Tonga and compile in one document.
The Speaker is the head of the Legislator and he is the person who is on the helm of the Legislative Assembly while is in sitting. The Speaker conduct all affairs in the House of Representatives or Parliament according to the guidance of the “The Rules of Procedure and Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga”.
The Speaker is appointed by the King upon the recommendation of the Members of the Legislative Assembly, in accordance with clause 61 of the Constitution. The Speaker must be an elected representative of the nobles in accordance with Section 15 of the Legislative Assembly Act.
Find out about our system of government and what Parliament does.
Read about Parliament's history and how it has unfolded over the years.
Visit the Parliament to discover and see what happens when the House sits.
Discover range of educational programmes provided by the Parliament.
Find out about the types of job available here, and the skills and expertise we look for in the people we employ.
Special programmes provided the Office of the Legislative Assembly for the public.