$186,000 from New Zealand for Tonga elections
SUVA, Fiji-October 18: 4.50pm (Nuku’alofa Times/RNZI): Preparation for the Tonga General Elections received a timely boost today when New Zealand announced they are giving $186,000 towards the polls on November 16.
That was after a request from Tonga to the New Zealand High Commission here for financial support.
Elections will be held next month after His Majesty King Tupou VI dissolved Parliament in September and ordered fresh elections.
The New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga, Sarah Walsh, said the funding would go towards the printing of the electoral roll and ballot papers, public awareness, travel and training for election officials and the venue hire for polling stations.
The Supervisor of Elections, Pita Vuki, said they were finalising paperwork to be distributed to the outer islands next week.
Meanwhile, campaign within the 17 constituencies are continuing.
This year’s election has attracted a total of 86 candidates within the 17 constituencies – 15 of them women.
Tongatapu 1 has the biggest number of candidates with 11 registered, including caretaker Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva.
Tongatapu 3, where former Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni is standing, has six candidates.
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