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Author Topic: King George of Tonga gave up absolute rule in 2008  (Read 3657 times)

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King George of Tonga gave up absolute rule in 2008
« on: March 27, 2009, 07:08:17 AM »
 King George Tupou V will let the prime minister guide the day-to-day governmental affairs, Tonga Now reported. He will continue to hold on to judicial powers, including the ability to appoint judges and commute prison sentences.

George V, 60, announced his plans as the country prepares a days-long coronation ceremony that begins Friday.

Tonga's king is giving up most of the near-absolute power that his family has held for centuries in the South Pacific nation, the country's news agency reported Monday.
The decision, he said, is meant to prepare the country for parliamentary elections in 2010.

Tonga, with a population of 119,000, is the only monarchy that remains in the Pacific.

Currently, the king appoints the prime minister and 12 to 14 Cabinet ministers. Noble families choose nine others. Voters elect just nine.

"(He) is voluntarily surrendering his powers to meet the democratic aspirations of many of his people," the news agency said. "They see Tonga's royal heritage as integral to the country's culture and identity, but favour a more representative, elected Parliament. The king agrees with them."

Tonga has for years promised to pave the way toward a democratically elected parliament, but reforms have been slow in coming.


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