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72 candidates to contest Tonga’s election next week

Friday 12 November 2021 | Written by RNZ | Published in Regional, Tonga

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72 candidates to contest Tonga’s election next week
RNZ Pacific correspondent, Kalafi Moala Photo: RNZ Pacific

The number of candidates in next Thursday's election in Tonga has dropped. This is on top of one of the shortest candidate lists in Tongan history - at 75. But one candidate has since died and another two have stepped aside to help their colleagues.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent in Tonga, Kalafi Moala, said seven candidates have PhDs, which shows how young and educated the candidates are.

"Very youthful, a number that are between 40 and 50, and then a number who are highly educated and some who have tremendous experience, working either overseas or in Tonga.

There has to be a major transition from the old to the new -newer, younger generation, more educated," he said.

Kalafi Moala said statements from King Tupou the Sixth that the parliament needed new talent are being taken on board by voters.

Tonga has over 64,000 voters registered to elect their 17 representatives to the Tonga Legislative Assembly made up of 26 members, with 17 seats for People's Representatives and nine seats for Nobles' Representatives.