More women than men are registered to vote for next month’s elections in Tonga, but will this translate into more women Parliamentarians?
According to the Tongan Electoral Commission, as of September 22, a total of 50,450 voters were registered, of whom 25,722 (51%) were women and 24,683 (49%) were men.
A total of 15 women will contest the elections on November 16. There are 86 candidates in total.
In 2014, 16 women stood for election out of 104 candidates.
Tonga has only one woman MP.
She is Akosita Lavulavu, who won a by-election in her Vava’u number 16 seat last year.
The head of the Tongan Women’s National Congress, Lepolo Taunisila, said women had a huge contribution to make to the development of Tonga.
She hoped several women would be elected.
Most of the 15 women candidates had good qualifications and years of experience in various fields.
Taunisila told Radio New Zealand the Congress was helping with door-to-door campaigning.
She said electors preferred candidates to come to their homes so they could get to know them better.
The head of the Tonga National Centre for Women and Children, Fuiva Kavaliku, said she thought Tongan voters would respond positively, despite tradition favouring men.
The main points
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