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2 June 2011: Address from the Throne at the State Opening of Parliament

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2 June 2011 The Address from the Throne at the State Opening of Parliament on Thursday 2 June 2011.

My Lord Speaker. I give thanks to the Almighty that you are well as are the Lord Prime Minister, Their Lordships and Ministers of the Cabinet , the Lord Peers and Members of the Parliament.

There is wide spread rejoicing in the Realm at the completion of the first stage of our new democratic reforms which we may credit to the legacy of the previous government and Parliament who, without a single voice of dissent, enacted these historic reforms. The essence of these reforms is that the power to propose and to enact future reforms is firmly vested in the parliament so that we might make small adjustments often as opposed to sudden changes of great magnitude after long periods of inactivity.

The Government shall propose supporting legislation for the appointment of the Great Office of State the Lord Chancellor who shall be empowered to protect the Courts and the Judges while preserving the integrity and impartiality of the Judiciary.

The new Legislation will grant powers to the King, on the advice of the Lord Prime Minister, to appoint a temporary Lord Chancellor and a temporary Attorney General in order to complete the membership of the Judicial Appointments and
Disciplinary Panel for only then may a substantive Lord Chancellor and Attorney General be appointed.

The political reforms of the past are small in scale and import when compared to the substantial changes to our economic and social organisation designed to change the country from an impoverished country which missed out on most opportunities to improve its circumstances in the 20th Century to a prosperous one of the 21st Century.

The political reforms were nevertheless of the highest priority. It is essential that the Parliament, now representing the whole country, should solicit public consensus for the great changes to come and which are planned by the Government. In parallel, we rely upon the Churches to guide the people's spiritual
welfare while an independent and unassailable Judiciary shall guarantee the independence and impartiality of the Courts which shall champion the cause of justice equally on behalf of the powerful as well as the humble.

In addition the Government is faced with the task of encouraging economic growth in spite of the cost of energy and past conflicts between policies and the priorities adopted by our state enterprises. It is the intention that these efforts are coordinated with a general policy to encourage our commercial activities, primary production and competent marketing to achieve a growth rate to 2% in the year 2013.

We extend our gratitude to the Governments of Japan, the People's Republic of China, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Government of New Zealand for their generous assistance to our country in the past year. We are also grateful to the help which we have received from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the European Union for their invaluable help.


I send you all my Greetings.

GEORGE R.

...View photos of Tonga Parliament Opening 02 June, 2011

ENDS

Issued by the: Office of the Lord Chamberlain, Palace Office, Nuku'alofa, 2011.

Last Updated ( Monday, 25 July 2011 11:53 )  

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