Some 59,000 people have registered to vote in the general election, including on the supplementary roll. There are 86 candidates contesting the 17 People’s Representatives seats in parliament. Nine nobles representatives will also be elected. In August the King dissolved the parliament amid concerns the government of Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva was acting unconstitutionally and gathering power for itself.
A Tongan political scientist said today’s election was one of the most significant in the country’s history.
Massey University director of Pasifika Malakai Koloamatangi is in Tonga for the election and said the political reforms of 2010 had led to this moment.