Tonga

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Question Value
1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which does not have a formal political party system.

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga.

  • Source

    No legislation exists to regulate donations to candidates. 

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga, which does not have a formal poltical party system.

  • Source

    The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

     

4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

     The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which does not have a formal system of poltical parties.

  • Source

     

    The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

     

6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga.

  • Source

    There is no legislation to regulate donations to candidates.

    Source: Tonga Election Commission,  www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     There is no formal political party system in Tonga 

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga.

  • Source

    There is no legislation to regulate donations to election candidates .

    Source: Elections Act, 1989; Electoral Commission Act, 2010. (www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations)

9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal system of poltical parties in Tonga. 

  • Source

    No legislation is yet required to address this issue. Current legislation only refers to behaviour of candidates for election.

     

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989; Electoral Commission Act, 2010. 

10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Blank

  • Source

     

    Electoral legislation only refers to campaign expenditure of candidates , which indirectly limits donations from any source. 

     

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989. 

11. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    There is no formal system of political parties in Tonga. 

  • Source

    Electoral legislation only refers to campaign expenditure of candidates , which indirectly limits donations from any source. 

     

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989. 

12. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Blank 

  • Source

    Electoral legislation only refers to campaign expenditure of candidates ,which indirectly limits donations from any source. 

     

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989. 

13. Is there a ban on the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal political party system in Tonga

  • Source

    There are no provisions regarding such matters  in any electoral legislation. However the Electoral Commission can make recommendations for changes to the law concerning elections.

     

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989, Section 10, Electoral Commision Act, 2010.  

14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal poltical party system in Tonga

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

15. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal poltical party system in Tonga 

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

17. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga

  • Source

    There is no legislation to regulate donations to election candidates.

    Source: Source: Elections Act, 1989; Electoral Commission Act, 2010. (www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations)

19. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
20. Is there a limit on the amount a candidate can contribute to their own election campaign?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

      

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga

  • Source

      

    There is no legislation to regulate donations to election candidates.

    Source: Source: Elections Act, 1989; Electoral Commission Act, 2010. (www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations)

21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal poltical party sytem in Tonga. 

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga

     

      

  • Source

    There is no legislation to regulate donations to election candidates.

    Source: Source: Elections Act, 1989; Electoral Commission Act, 2010. (www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations)

23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal poltical party system in Tonga.

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal political party system in Tonga

  • Source

     The 14 independent candidates elected at the November 2017 Tongan national election belong to the registered organisation known as the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.  However, no legislation yet exists for the registration and regulation of poltical parties or their finances. The Report of the Commonwealth Election Observers Group on the 2017 election recommended that" Should poltical parties become formalised, their campaign  expenditure should also be regulated". The Report also recognised the lack of any provisions to track donations for election campaigns. 

    Source: Tonga Global Integrity Report 2008; Inter-parliamentary Union Parline database; Report of the Commonwealth  Observer Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election,16th November, 2017. 

25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga

  • Source

    There is no legislation to regulate donations to election candidates.

    Source: Source: Elections Act, 1989; Electoral Commission Act, 2010. (www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations)

26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal system of political parties in Tonga 

  • Source

    There are no provisions in any electoral legislation regarding donations from any source. However the Electoral Commission can make recommendations for changes to the law  to address the issue of donations election candidates. 

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989: Electoral Commission Act, 2010 

27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Blank

  • Source

    mm

    here are no provisions in any electoral legislation regarding donations from any source. However the Electoral Commission can make recommendations for changes to the law  to address the issue of donations to election candidates. 

    Source: Electoral Act, 1989: Electoral Commission Act, 2010 

Question Value
28. Are there provisions for direct public funding to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

      

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which has no formal system of political parties.

  • Source

     

     No legislation exists to provide any form of public funding to political parties. 

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

      

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which has no formal system of political parties.

  • Source

      

     No provisions exit in any regulations or legislation to provide free or subsidised access to media for poltical parties.

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

     

33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

      

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga.

  • Source

       

    No legislation exists. 

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

      The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which has no formal system of political parties.

  • Source

     

    No legislation exists. 

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which has no formal system of political parties.

  • Source

     

    No legislation exists. 

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

Question Value
38. Is there a ban on vote buying?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    The penaities for vote buying were increased in 2010 when the fine for committing the offence of bribery was increased from $2,000 to $5,000. 

  • Source

    It is illegal for any person to give or promise to give money or valuable gifts to influence the behavior of voters during the election or within 3 moths of the election.  Every person who committs bribery is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000 and imprisonment for up to 3 years.

    Source: Section 21 Bribery, Electoral Act 1989;  Section 17, Electoral Amendment Act, 2010. 

39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which has no formal system of political parties.

  • Source

     

    No legislation or regulations exist to limit political party expenditure.

    Source: Tonga Electoral Commission, http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/elections/laws-and-regulations

40. If there are limits on the amount a political party can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
41. Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Limit on candidate expenditure is the only regulation of campaign financing that exists in Tonga. 

  • Source

    No candidate may spend more than TOP $10,000 during, or 6 months before or after, any election campaign (US$4,556.50). The definition of campaign expendiure  includes the cost of entertaining (including food and drink) and the cost of transporting people to a polling station. 

    Source: Section 24: Permitted Election Expenses, Electoral Act 1989.

42. If there are limits on the amount a candidate can spend, what is the limit?
  • Code $10,000
  • Comment

    BLANK 

  • Source

      

    No candidate may spend more than $10,000 during, or 6 months before or after, any election campaign. The definition of campaign expendiure  includes the cost of entertaining (including food and drink) and the cost of transporting people to a polling station. 

    Source: Section 24: Permitted Election Expenses, Electoral Act 1989.

     

43. Are there limits on the amount that third parties can spend on election campaign activities?
  • CodeSpending limit for party/candidate includes spending by others on their behalf
  • Comment

    BLANK 

  • Source

    No candidate, or anyone acting on his/her behalf, may spend more than $10,000 during, or 6 months before or after, any election campaign. The definition of campaign expendiure  includes the cost of entertaining (including food and drink) and the cost of transporting people to a polling station. 

    Source: Section 24 (2) : Permitted Election Expenses, Electoral Act 1989.

44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    BLANK 

  • Source

    No candidate may spend more than $10,000 during, or 6 months before or after, any election campaign. The definition of campaign expendiure  includes the cost of entertaining (including food and drink) and the cost of transporting people to a polling station. The legislation does not specifically identify media advertising as an electoral expense, but it would be allowed if the total of campaign expenses, including media advertising, did not exceed $10,000.  

    Source: Section 24: Permitted Election Expenses, Electoral Act 1989.

45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    The Electoral Act does not regulate online media expenditure.

46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    BLANK

  • Source

    The Electoral Act does not regulate online media expenditure. However, no candidate may spend more than $10,000 during, or 6 months before or after, any election campaign.  

    Source: Section 24: Permitted Election Expenses, Electoral Act 1989.

Question Value
47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which does not have a formal political party system.

  • Source

    No legislation exists.  The  Commonwealth Observers Report on national election in 2017 recommended that " should the trend toward a political party system in Tonga, consideration should be given to the development of a legal regulatory framework and a programme of public dialogue and civic education, which may be useful in addressing emerging issues, including in relation to campaign financing".  

    Source: Report Commonwealth Observers Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election 16th November 2017, p 28.  

48. Do political parties have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    The issue is premature in the present stage of political development in Tonga which does not have a formal political party system.

  • Source

    No legislation exists.  The  Commonwealth Observers Report on national election in 2017 recommended that " should the trend toward a political party system in Tonga, consideration should be given to the development of a legal regulatory framework and a programme of public dialogue and civic education, which may be useful in addressing emerging issues, including in relation to campaign financing".  

    Source: Report Commonwealth Observers Group, Kingdom of Tonga National Parliamentary Election 16th November 2017, p 28.  

49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    The Tonga Election Commission was established in 2010. 

  • Source

    The Supervisor of Elections is a member of the three person Electoral Commission with responsibility for the regular business of the Commission. Candidates are required to "deliver to the Supervisor a sworn statement of his election expenses, itemised and complete in all respect". The Electoral Act was amended in 2010 to reduce the time period by which candidates are required to deliver their sworn statement from 1 month to within 14 days of the election.

    Source: Electoral Commission Act, 2010; Section 24 Electoral Act 1989; Section 19, Electoral (Amendment) Act 2010.

50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    BLANK

  • Source

    Legislation requires only candidates to provide a report of their campaign expenditure to the Supervisor of Elections.

    Source: Section 24, Electoral Act, 1989.

51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    The Electoral Commission has the responsibility to "regulate and monitor electoral expenditure by candidates in accordance with section 24 of the Electoral Act", There is no provision in any legislation requiring that the record of candidate electoral expenses must be made public.  However, the Commission "may make recommendations for changes to the law concerning elections".

    Source: Sections 10 (d) and (l), Electoral Commission Act, 2010.

52. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates reveal the identity of donors?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no formal political party system in Tonga

  • Source

    Candidates are only required to report on campaign expenditure. 

    Source: Section 24, Electoral Act, 1998

53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

     

    There is no formal political party system in Tonga

  • Source

    Candidates are only required to report on campaign expenditure. 

    Source: Section 24, Electoral Act, 1998

54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    There is no formal political party system in Tonga.

  • Source

    Only candidates are required to provide information on electoral expenses to the Supervisor of Elections. The Tonga Electoral Commission website states that:

    A Candidate must lodge their statement of expenses with the Supervisor of Elections within 14 days of the election. It must be itemized and complete in all aspects".

    The Return of Election Expenses form requires a list of all expenses incurred by the candidate, or on his behalf. The details of the nature of the payment, the amount and date expended must be listed for each expense.

    Source: Section 24, Electoral Act 1989; Tonga Electoral Commission http://www.tongaelections.com/index.php/candidates/election-campaigns/76-statement-of-expenses-form

     

55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeEMB
  • Comment

    Only candidates make returns as their is no formalised system of political parties in Tonga. 

  • Source

    Candidates provide their electoral expenses returns to the Supervisor of Elections, who is a member of the Tonga Electoral Commission.

    Source: Section 24, Electoral Act, 1989;   Section 10, Electoral Commission Act, 2010

56. Which institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Blank 

  • Source

    The Tonga Electoral Commission has the power to determine election appeals, challenges and any other disputes and recommend prosecution for election offences; 

    Source: Section 10 (2) (e) and (f). Electoral Commission Act, 2010. 

57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeCarry out investigation
  • Comment

    Blank 

  • Source

     

    The Tonga Electoral Commission has the power to determine election appeals, challenges and any other disputes and recommend prosecution for election offences; 

    Source: Section 10 (2) (e) and (f). Electoral Commission Act, 2010. 

58. What sanctions are provided for political finance infractions?
  • CodeFines | Prison | Loss of elected office
  • Comment

    Blank

  • Source

    The Electoral Act sets out a range of election offences which include bribery and threats . Fines range from TOP$ 3-5,000 and prison terms of up to three years. In addition it is an offence to spend more than TPO $10,000 on campaign expenses. If found guilty sanctions include a fine of up to TPP$10,000. In the case of serious offences the Supreme Court may declare the candidates election void, or if he/she has taken their seat in the Legislative Assembly, then they can be dismissed from office by the Assembly.

    Source: Part IV Election Offences, Electoral Act, 1989; Sections 17-19, Electoral Amendment Act, 2010.  

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