Tonga's king dissolves parliament, orders new election

Tonga is the Pacific's only monarchy but has attempted to increase democracy in recent years.

AFP| Last Updated: Aug 25, 2017, 12:20 PM IST

Nuku'alofa: Tonga's King Tupou VI dissolved the Pacific island nation's parliament Friday, dismissing Akilisi Pohiva, the first commoner to ever serve as prime minister.

The country's Crown Law office published an official "instrument of dissolution" signed by the monarch which dissolved parliament and called an election in November.

"(I) do lawfully dissolve the Legislative Assembly... And do command that new representatives of the nobles and the people be elected... No later than November 16," it said.

The decree said King Tupou acted after receiving advice from the parliamentary speaker Lord Tu'ivakano but did not give a reason for the unprecedented action.

However, Pohiva, who was elected in late 2014, survived a motion of no confidence earlier this year brought by nobles who alleged the former democracy activist was not competent to lead the country.

Tonga is the Pacific's only monarchy but has attempted to increase democracy in recent years.

It has a 26-seat parliament with 17 members elected by the people and nine spots taken by hereditary nobles.