Address by the Princess Regent: first meeting of the Legislative Assembly

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13 January 2011 The Address by the Princess Regent Her Royal Highness The Princess Salote Pilolevu Tuita at the opening of the first meeting of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday 13, January 2011.

THE ADDRESS BY THE PRINCESS REGENT, HRH THE PRINCESS SALOTE PILOLEVU TUITA AT THE OPENING OF THE FIRST MEETING OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY 13TH JANUARY, 2011

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1.     I would like to acknowledge the presence here today of the Lord Almighty, as we continue to seek His Guidance, protection, patience, and compassion.

Honourable Speaker of the Legislative Assembly;

The Right Honorable Prime Minister and Ministers of Cabinet;

Honourable Representatives of the Nobles;

Representatives of the People;

Ladies and Gentlemen;

3.       The Legislative Assembly Act stipulates that as part of our political reform, the first session of the Legislative Assembly is to convene within 6 weeks of the return of the Writ of Election. As such this is a ‘soft opening' as opposed to the State opening which is the official session of the Legislative Assembly in May of this year. The First business of this session of the Legislative Assembly will be to administer the official oaths of the Cabinet Ministers, the Representatives of the Nobles, and also Representatives of the People. The Legislative Assembly will then attend to any business proposed by Government. It is hoped that this session will not be prolonged or drawn out; as I am sure you will all need time to prepare for the official session of Parliament in May.

4.       The progression of our new democratic process have been observed with great interest not only  by the local population, but also
Tongan nationals overseas, which culminated in the national election last November. It was a massive undertaking for both Government and the Legislative Assembly to complete the constitutional reforms and the legislations pertaining to the powers and responsibilities of the Privy Council, the Cabinet, the Legislative Assembly, as well as the Judiciary, and also to implement a fair electoral system.

5.       I therefore take this opportunity to thank the Government and the Legislative Assembly of last year for their accomplishment. All Tongans are indebted to you for your untiring efforts and perseverance.

6.       Today, we remember those who, in the past, established the foundation for our constitutional monarchy and a Christian and democratic Government. We are grateful that they had the foresight and the vision to enact a constitution and legislation, and enable us to make amendments as and when required. We are glad that the roadmap upon which we travel today had been charted with integrity by our forefathers.

7.       It is an accepted fact that the leaders of Tonga today are writing their names in our country's history and that they accept, we are now in an era, when we have to perform our own work and not expect others to do them for us. In so doing, we need to work collectively, to build and strengthen the welfare of our nation, of our villages, but in particular of our families.

8.       I must express my gratitude for the smooth transition of Government. The caretaker Government that was put in place after the national elections was taken over by the new Government with the appointment of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers on the 29th December 2010

9.       I want to convey my gratitude to the Government of Australia, New Zealand, the Peoples Republic of China, the Government of Japan, and all other foreign Governments that have provided financial assistance or otherwise to Tonga.

10.     I would also like to thank the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union, and all other intergovernmental agencies who have worked with, and provided assistance to Tonga.

11.     I would now like to conclude by conveying my deep gratitude and good wishes to:

  • the Honourable Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
  • the Honorable Prime Minister and Ministers of Cabinet
  • the Representatives of the Nobles
  • the Representatives of the People, and
  • the loyal staff of the House

12.     I extend my best wishes for a successful, peaceful and fruitful session of the Legislative Assembly. May God bless you all.

THE REGENT


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 06 July 2011 23:32 )  

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