The Legislative Assembly (Tongan: Fale Alea) of Tonga has 26 members in which 17 members elected by majority of the people for a 5-year term in multi-seat constituencies via the single non-transferable vote system. There are 9 members elected by the 33 hereditary nobles of Tonga. The Assembly is controlled by the speaker of the House who is elected by majority of the elected members of Parliament and constitutionally appointed by the king.


A Legislative Assembly providing for representation of nobles and commoners was established in 1862 by King George Tupou I.[1] This body met every four years and was continued in the 1875 Constitution.

Originally the Legislative Assembly consisted of all holders of noble titles, an equal number of people's representatives, the governors for Ha’apai and Vava’u, and at least four Cabinet Ministers chosen by the monarch.[2] An increase in the number of nobles from twenty to thirty saw the Assembly grow to 70 members.[3] Amendments in 1914 saw a reduction in the size of the Assembly and annual sittings. The principle of equal representation of nobles and commoners was retained.[4]

In April 2010 the Legislative Assembly enacted a package of political reforms, increasing the number of people's representatives from nine to seventeen,[5] with ten seats for Tongatapu, three for Vava’u, two for Ha’apai and one each for Niuas and 'Eua.[6]

The 100-year-old Tongan Parliament House was destroyed by Cyclone Gita, a Category 4 tropical cyclone that passed through the nation on 12 and 13 February 2018.[7]

Speaker of the Assembly

The Legislative Assembly is presided over by a Speaker, appointed by the monarch.[8]

The current Speaker is Lord Tuʻivakanō. A complete list of the Speakers is below:[9]

Name Took office Left office
Hon. Viliami Tungi 1875 1896
Hon. Siaosi Fuku'aho 1897 1897
Hon. Siaosi Tu'ipelehake 1897 1912
Hon. Finau 'Ulukalala 1912 1938
Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune 1939 1940
Hon. Tu'ivakano 1941 1941
Hon. Nuku 1942 1944
Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune 1945 1945
Hon. Tu'ivakano 1946 1948
Hon. Iosaiasi Veikune 1949 1949
Hon. Tu'ivaikano 1950 1950
Hon. Kalaniuvalu 1951 1958
Hon. Ma'afu Tukui'aulahi 1959 1984
Hon. Kalaniuvalu 1985 1986
Hon. Malupo 1987 1989
Hon. Fusitu'a 1990 1998
Hon. Veikune 1999 2002
Siale'ataonga Tu'ivakano 1 July 2002 2004
Hon. Veikune 22 March 2005 2006
Hon. Havea Tui'ha'angana 2006 2008
Hon. Tu'ilakepa April 29, 2008 2010
Lord Tupou (interim) December 3, 2010 December 21, 2010
Hon. Lasike December 21, 2010 July 18, 2012
Lord Fakafanua July 19, 2012 29 December 2014
Lord Tuʻivakanō


e • d Summary of the 25 November 2010 Tongan Legislative Assembly election results[dubious ]
Parties Votes % Seats
Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands 10,953 28.49 12
Independents 25,873 67.30 5
People's Democratic Party 934 2.43 0
Sustainable Nation-Building Party 519 1.35 0
Tongan Democratic Labor Party 168 0.44 0
Noble representatives 54 9
Total 38,447 100.00 26
Source: Matangi Tonga

Terms of the Tongan Legislative Assembly

Until 2010, the government was appointed by the monarch without reference to Parliament, and there were no political parties. The last term under the old system was the 2008 Tongan Legislative Assembly. Political reform in 2010 saw the Prime Minister elected by Parliament from among its members, leading to responsible government.

Term Elected in Government
2010 Parliament 2010 election Independent


Sione Tekiteki is Clerk (Kalae Pule Falealea 'o Tonga) (2011–2012). Gloria Pole'o (2012–present)

Legislative Procedures

See also


  1. ^ David Stanley (1999). Tonga-Somoa Handbook. p. 198. ISBN 1-56691-174-5. 
  2. ^ Ian Campbell (2005). "The Quest for Constitutional Reform in Tonga". Journal of Pacific History. 40 (1): 91–104. doi:10.1080/00223340500082400. 
  3. ^ Campbell (2005), p. 93.
  4. ^ Sione Latukefu. "History of our Constitution". Government of Tonga. Retrieved 2010-03-02. [permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Tonga Parliament enacts political reforms". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  6. ^ "Tonga parliament votes on amended boundaries". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 
  7. ^ "Tonga parliament building flattened by Cyclone Gita". BBC News. 13 February 2018. 
  8. ^ Constitution of Tonga Archived 2008-11-19 at the Wayback Machine., s. 61
  9. ^ This is drawn from Member profiles on the Legislative Assembly's official website

External links