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Legislative Assembly of Tonga

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1 Legislative Assembly of Tonga on Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:42 am

The Legislative Assembly (Tongan: Fale Alea) of Tonga has 30 members, 9 members elected for a three year term in multi-seat constituencies via the single non-transferable vote system, 9 members elected for a three year term by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga, 10 members of the Privy Council and 2 governors. The Assembly is controlled by the royal family and noble families. The Legislative Assembly sits for 4 or 5 months a year. At the most recent elections on 17 March 2005, according to Adam Carr's Election Archive, 7 of the 9 people's deputies belong to the democratic Human Rights and Democracy Movement. The electoral system does not allow any party to achieve power; one party exists in opposition. The electoral system, in which commoners (i.e., non-nobles) directly elect only nine of thirty seats in the Fale, does not allow political parties to form a government. Parties exist as pressure groups rather than electoral vehicles or patronage dispensers. A majority of the commoners in parliament belong to the Human Rights and Democracy Movement. The People's Democratic Party is the first registered party.

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