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Pacific Islands Forum to observe Tonga 2017 national elections

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Update: 7:31PM THE Tongan government has invited the Pacific Islands Forum to observe its national elections that is to take place this month.

The Forum Elections Observer teams are to observe the pre-polling environment, polling, and counting.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor appreciated the invitation from the Tongan government as she recognised that elections were a sovereign exercise at heart.

"This invitation from Tonga to observe its national elections, therefore, is a great demonstration of transparency and Tonga's commitment to democracy and good governance," said Dame Taylor.

"Forum election observer missions serve as an independent source of analysis regarding the conduct of forum members' election processes, and provide a practical demonstration at community levels of the Forum's commitment to good governance."

She also reaffirmed the Forum's support for strengthening good governance under the Biketawa Declaration and the Framework for Pacific Regionalism.

"I am pleased to note that the Forum Observer Team will hold joint consultations with the Commonwealth Observer Team in Tonga, and the two teams will deploy to 'Eua, Vava'u, Ha'apai, and Tongatapu," she said.

The Forum Elections Observer Team, supported by Forum Secretariat officials, will be in-country between November 9-17.

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