First female chair for Tonga’s Whole House Committee

This story by RNZ is republished with permission

Tongatapu 5 MP Losaline Ma’asi has been nominated as acting chair of Tonga’s Whole House Committee, the first woman ever in the role.

The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly nominated Ma’asi to lead discussions at the committee.

Tonga MP Losaline Ma'asi

Tonga MP Losaline Ma’asi attends a mentoring programme by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians in Wellington. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

The chairman of the Whole House Committee Lord Tu’i’afitu is currently on leave.

Ma’asi will be the chair for the Standing Committee on Environment and Climate Change, a member of the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries and the Standing Committee on Populations and Development.

The Committee of the Whole House is made up of all the members of parliament. It sits at the same time as the Legislative Assembly.

Ma’asi said she was thankful for the trust and the opportunity the Speaker has bestowed upon her.

“There are challenges, but as MPs they must be prepared for any given tasks for the continuity of the legislative work.”

“MPs with different political views and personal attack on individuals maybe a stumbling block in the job, but is hopeful discussions will focus on Tonga’s best interest and nation building,” she said.

Ma’asi was an elected Member of Parliament in 2017, became the Minister for Internal Affairs in 2018 and was the Minister for Agriculture in 2019.

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