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Tongans should elect all lawmakers, replacing royal appointee system, committee recommends

Tongans should elect all lawmakers, replacing royal appointee system, committee recommends

A government committee has recommended that all lawmakers in Tonga be elected, replacing a system in which the majority of legislators are appointed by the king.
The recommendation is a significant step in efforts to reform the kingdom's political system, which have accelerated since the recent death of King Tupou IV after more than 40 years in power.
The National Committee for Political Reform, a government-appointed body, said in recommendations made to parliament late Thursday that all 32 members of parliament should be elected, instead of the current nine.
Currently, 23 lawmakers are approved by the king.
The committee recommended that the king keep the power to appoint the prime minister and Cabinet, chairman Sitiveni Halapua said.