Niuas Nobles' constituency
for the Legislative Assembly of Tonga
|Number of members||1|
Since its inception in 1875, the Assembly has consisted in representatives of the people and in members of the nobility. Following constitutional reforms in 2010, designed to strengthen democracy in the kingdom, the nobility elect nine representatives, while the people elect seventeen. The nobles' constituency in the Niuas thus overlaps with a peoples' constituency, which also elects a single representative.
Members of the nobility whose title is attached to lands in the constituency may vote there, and be elected as the constituency's representative. Nobles do not formally stand as candidates, however, and never belong to any political party. Following the 2010 electoral reforms, any person holding more than one title, corresponding to lands in several constituencies, may only vote in one constituency. The titles corresponding to the Niuas are Fotofili, Fusituʻa, Maʻatu and Tangipa, meaning that the constituency may have up to four voters. At present, the holder of the title of Fotofili also holds the title of Kalaniuvalu, which entitles him to vote in the Tongatapu constituency. The Maʻatu title is vacant. Thus, the constituency actually consists in between two and three voters.
History, recent elections and membersEdit
The constituency as such did not exist for the first Assembly in 1875. At that time, there were twenty nobles in all the kingdom, and they all sat in the Assembly, along with twenty elected peoples' representatives; the islands of Niuafoʻou and Niuatoputapu were each associated with a title, and therefore each had a noble representing them. As the number of titles of nobility was increased by successive monarchs, a constitutional amendment in 1914 provided that the nobles would henceforth elect seven among them to represent them; the number of peoples' representatives was also decreased to seven. The nobles' constituency of Niuas, as such, may have been established at this time.
Records of elections are sparse. In the 1996 general election, the Honourable Fusituʻa was elected; there is no further information. Nor is there any information for the 1999, 2002 or 2005 general election results. In the 2008 election, three votes were cast in the Niuas: two for Lord Tangipa, and one for Lord Fotofili; the former was thus duly elected. In the 2010 election, specific voting figures were not reported, but Lord Fusituʻa was elected with a single vote, which suggests that only one vote was cast. This may be explained by Lord Fotofili opting to vote in Tongatapu, and Lord Fusituʻa himself not casting a vote (or voting blank), so that Lord Tangipa's lone vote could elect him.
Lord Fusituʻa died on 24 April 2014, leading to a by-election on 21 May. His son, the new Lord Fusituʻa, was elected unanimously with two votes to take his seat. In August 2020 the seat was declared vacant due to Fusituʻa's failing to attend Parliament for over a year. A by-election will be held to fill the vacant seat.
Members of ParliamentEdit
Prior to 1996
- no information
|1996, 2002, 2005||?|
|2014 by-election||Lord Fusituʻa|
|Independent||Lord Fusituʻa (Mataʻiʻulua ‘i Fonuamotu)||2||100%||0|
|Lord Fusituʻa gain from Lord Fusituʻa (his late father)||Swing||n/a|
|Lord Fusituʻa gain from Lord Tangipa||Swing||n/a|
- "Nobles prepare for Elections of district electoral representatives" Archived 2012-04-22 at the Wayback Machine, Tongan Ministry of Information, 17 November 2010
- "Nobles" Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine, government of Tonga
- Sione Latukefu (14 July 2008). "The History of the Tongan Constitution". Government of Tonga. Archived from the original on 6 Jan 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Tonga Chronicle Archived 2011-11-30 at the Wayback Machine, February 1996, p.11
- "Former Speaker Tu'iha'angana loses seat in Nobles election" Archived 2011-05-27 at the Wayback Machine, Matangi Tonga, 23 April 2008
- "Vaea and Tu'ilakepa to enter House in Nobles seats", Matangi Tonga, 25 November 2010
- "Crown Prince not elected as Noble Representative" Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine, Taimi Media Network, 1 December 2010
- "Lord Fusitu'a takes father's seat", Matangi Tonga, 22 May 2014
- "Tongan Noble seat declared vacant". RNZ. 10 August 2020. Retrieved 10 August 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)