Although women can l be elected to parliament; many believe they should be given a quota
Radio & Television Tonga News 4/08/2017
Tonga’s Electoral Act allows women to enter Parliament, but some people still believe they should be assigned a special quota in the house. In a survey conducted by the representative of Haveluloto and parts of Tofoa, most of the residents said it’s important to legalize the idea because many women have the potential but were not elected to the house.
About 54 percent of surveyed voters in both villages were in favour of the idea of giving women a quota in parliament.
This issue has been around for many years. In 2014, when Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva appointed members of his Cabinet, he received a letter from several women activists asking for his support to appoint women to the house and to push for a special quota for women.
But the Prime Minister responded, that women are currently allowed to run for Parliament and compete for the seats up for grab, to be fair to all.
Not only that but more than half of the registered voters in Tonga are women with a total of more than 28thousand (28508) – while registered male voters is only more than 27thousand (27609).
Lately, a women’s association set up to lobby for the quota in parliament said it has approached the Prime Minister and he agreed that they work on a bill to be submitted to parliament.
Other views from women was the fact that many female voters are not supportive of their own gender and couldn’t careless whether they are voted into parliament or not.
In the same survey, there were also questions on whether Tonga should return to the former voting or preferential system
and many believed that the former system is more appropriate for Tonga.
On the question on whether the Prime Minister should be elected by the people as well as noble’s representatives, and the opinions varied with many agreeing while others were against it.
© Radio & Television Tonga News