National dialogue aims to create shared vision of democracy among Tongans

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Dr Malakai Koloamatangi

The three-day National Dialogue on Democracy is intended to create a shared vision of what a genuine Tongan democracy might look like.

Organisers hope it will lead to a greater public understanding of the political reform and democratisation process.

They also hope it will lead to the creation of register of policies to inform decisions by incoming governments.

They would also like such an event to be held every three years.

The event will explore the political and constitutional issues surrounding the dissolution of parliament.

It will look at the relationship between the different branches of government and how they can be enhanced to ensure the growth and advancement of effective and democratic government.

The three-day meeting will ask how Tongans can ensure the election of highly capable representatives in the 2018-2022 parliament.

It will also ask whether there should be any changes to the way Parliament works and whether the existing system allows voter’s wishes to the House.

It will also look at what lessons have been learned from development of democracy in Tonga so far.

Timetable

The National Dialogue on Democracy will be held at the Fā’onelua Convention Centre, Nuku’alofa from tomorrow (October 25) to October 27.

It will be opened at 10am by HRH Princess Pilolevu.

  • Sessions tomorrow include:

11.30am Democracy

1.30pm Constitution

2.30pm Government institutions and relationships

3.345pm Current political issues

  • Sessions on Thursday include:

9am Keynote address by the Prime Minister, Hon. Akilisi Pohiva.

9.10am Economy and business

10.25am Trade and development

11.25am Media

1.25pm Civil society

2.25pm Church

3.40pm Education

  • Sessions on Friday include:

9am Keynote address by the Speaker of Parliament, Lord Tu’ivakano.

9.10am Culture

10.25am Security and defence

11.25am election 1

1.25pm election 2

3.25pm Finish

The event is being organised by the Office of the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Māori and Pasifika) at Massey University, New Zealand, in conjunction with the annual Queen Sālote Tupou III Lecture Series.

The main points

  • The three day National Dialogue on Democracy is intended to create a shared vision of what a genuine Tongan democracy might look like.
  • Organisers hope it will lead to a greater public understanding of the political reform and democratisation process.
  • They also hope it will lead to the creation of register of policies to inform decisions by incoming governments.
  • They would also like such an event to be held every three years.

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