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 05 July, 2012. 

The Tonga Electoral Commission will launch its official website on Thursday, 5 July 2012 with a ceremony to be hosted by the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Pita Vuki and conducted by the Secretary for Justice, Susana Faletau and the Secretary for Information and Communications, Mr. Paula P. Ma'u.

Following its establishment in 2010, the Tonga Electoral Commission was immediately involved in a programme of public education to make voters and prospective candidates familiar with the requirements of the electoral laws during the months leading up to the Election in November 2010. The success of this programme is apparent from the high voter turnout (over 91%) and negligible number of invalid votes cast in the election and the Commission is anxious to now extend this electoral education.

The website is an initiative taken by the Commission meant to serve as a window into the elections process in Tonga, will allow visitors to access information on constituencies allocations, candidates guidelines, polling stations venues and information on relevant legislations regarding the work of the Commission. This new website can be accessed on www.tongaelections.com.

Mr. Barry Sweetman, Chairman of the Tonga Electoral Commission said that, "The setting up of this website as a vital step in this direction."

"The website has been meticulously created to include the broadest possible picture of the electoral process in Tonga and I believe it will greatly assist in assisting voters and candidates towards a better understanding of their roles. It also provides for all interested a record of past electoral results," the Chairman added.

The innovative, interactive and didactic website is part of the Tonga Electoral push to make the electoral process more transparent and accessible in Tonga. To that effect, the website was not only available in English but written primarily in Tongan.

The Commission will continue to work on enhancing the effectiveness of its website with the addition of photo galleries and instructive videos on civic voter education and orientation, among other things.

The Tonga Electoral Commission is an independent and permanent body which came into effect on 10 May 2010, under the Electoral Commission Act 2010. Its main duty is to supervise all electoral related activities and to ensure that such activities are implemented in a free and fair environment.

The Tonga Electoral Commission is one of the Government's independent agencies that have taken the leading role in making information more available to the public in response to the Government's Freedom of Information policy that was launched last Thursday, June 28. The public have all the documents they need in any format they can use.



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