|dc.description.abstract||Ko e foaki ʻo e Konisitutone ʻo Tongá ʻi he 1875, ne hoko ia ko e maka maile ki he hisitōlia ʻo e tukuʻau mai e laó mo e fakalakalaka ʻa Tongá ʻi he ngāue ʻaufuatō ʻa e Tuʻí ko Tupou I. Naʻe hanga ʻe he Konisitutoné ʻo vahevahe e kakai ʻo e fonuá ki he ngaahi faʻunga e tolu – ko e laine faka-Tuʻí; ko e houʻeiki nōpelé pe maʻu tofiʻa e 30; pea mo e kakaí. Naʻe lava peʻe he Konisitutoné, ʻa ia ne tongi pea mei he nofo ʻa kaingá, ke ne pukepuke ʻa Tonga he ngaahi taʻu lahi – ka ʻi heʻene aʻu mai ki he ʻahó ni, kuo liliu. ʻI Nōvema ʻo e 2010, ne hoko ai ha fakalelei faka-konisitutone mo faka-politikale peá ne hoko ai ke fakaʻatā ‘e he Tuʻí ha ʻepoki foʻou mo ha hala fononga foʻou ke fou atu ai ʻa Tonga. Naʻe mokoi ʻa e Tama Tuʻí ke momoi ʻa e konga lahi ʻo hono mafai pulé ki he kau Minisitá ʻo e Kapinetí, ʻa ia ne fili ʻe he Palēmiá pea mei Fale Alea, ka ʻoku maʻu ai e tokolahi ʻe he kau fakafofonga ʻo e kakaí. Ko e taha eni ha vāʻihala foʻou ki he temokalatí, ʻoku ʻikai anga maheni ki ai e ngaahi puleʻanga faka-Tuʻi fakamamani lahí he neongo ʻoku kei kūkūkaunaka e maka tuliki fakaefonuá, ka kuo pau pe ke fai e fefaʻuhi pea mo e ngaahi fakaʻamu foʻoú pea ʻe toe lahi ange ʻa e fakalakalaká ʻo kau ai ʻa e fiemaʻu ko ia ke fai e liliu faka-politikale.
Ko e pepá ni ʻoku hoko ia ko e fuofua ngāue ʻo tānaki ʻilo ai pe ki he ʻēlia ko ení, ʻaki hono ʻanalaiso ʻo e fakalelei faka-konisitutone mo e faka-politikale ʻo e 2010 ʻo ngāueʻaki e founga fakalao ka ʻi he taimi tatau ʻoku ngāueʻaki ai pe mo e ngaahi fakakaukau tuʻufonua ʻa Tongá. ʻOku makatuʻunga eni ke fakaʻatalahi ʻetau vakai ki he talanoa ko ia ʻoku pehē ne ohi ʻe Tonga e ngaahi faʻunga fakatemokalati ʻi he 2010. ʻI hono toe fakamahino angé, ko e talanoa ʻo e liliu fakapolitikalé, ko e talanoa ia ki he Tuʻí pea mo e Konisitutoné pea mo e ngaahi founga ʻena fengāueʻaki ke paotoloaki e pule mo e mafai e Tuʻí ʻi Tonga.
Koeʻuhí ko e mahuʻinga ko ia ke tau aʻusia e faʻunga faka-konisitutone faka-Tongá, ngaahi meʻa ne hoko ʻi he liliu faka-politikale ʻo e 2010 ʻi Tongá, pea pehē ki he ola ʻo e ngāue ko iá – ʻoku ngāueʻaki leva ʻe he pepá ni ʻa e ngaahi tefitoʻi fakakaukau ʻo e ngaʻunu ko ia ki he pule faka-temokalatí, kae tautautefito ki he fakakaukau ʻo e temokalati fakatoukateá (hybrid democracy) pea mo e temokalati ʻoku konga fakaaoao (semi-authoritarian democracy). ʻOku toe ngāueʻaki ai pe ʻe he pepá ni ‘a e fakakaukau ʻa Matthew S R Palmer ʻa hono vakaiʻi ʻo e Konisitutoné ke ‘iloʻi e meʻa totonu ʻoku hokó; pea toe ngāueʻaki mo e founga talanoa ke lalangaʻaki e talanoa totonu ʻo e liliu faka-konisitutoné pea pehē ki he liliu faka-politikale ʻa Tongá.
Tonga’s modern legal history began with the grant of the Constitution in 1875 from the victorious King Tupou I. The Constitution divides all citizens into three categories – the monarch’s royal lineage; 30 lineages of chiefs called nobles; and all the other chiefs and the ordinary people. That constitutional kinship approach has served Tonga well – until now. In November 2010, a political and constitutional reform under which the powerful Monarch, both the Head of State and the Head of Government, opened a new page in Tonga’s political life. The Monarch agreed to devolve most of his executive powers upon a Cabinet of Ministers to be chosen by an elected Prime Minister from a Legislative Assembly comprising, for the first time, a clear majority of representatives elected by the people. Even so, the devolution of power was not total, and the constitutional outcome set up a degree of sharing of executive authority between the Monarch and the Cabinet. As a Kingdom , Tonga has chosen an unconventional path towards democracy so while the Kingdom preserves important elements of its cultural heritage, it engages with a new and more comprehensive approach to development and this includes political changes.
This thesis offers an original contribution by providing a cultural legal analysis of the 2010 constitutional and political reform. It shows that the reform has a broader story than the orthodox explanations that centre around Tonga’s decisive adoption of liberal democratic institutions. It is the story of a Monarch with an 1875 Constitution which together have worked and served to preserve the institution of the Monarchy in Tonga.
This thesis utilises the following approaches to understand and appreciate Tonga’s unique constitutional and cultural framework: the 2010 constitutional and political reform and the outcome of that reform. First of all, the theory of democratisation is explored to explain how countries move towards democracy, drawing on the idea of hybrid democracy and semi-authoritarian democracy. At the same time, this thesis employs Matthew S R Palmer’s constitutional realism approach to analyse the way in which power is exercised, as well as the methodological approach of talanoa to tell the story of Tonga’s constitutional and political reform.||