Form of Government
The Government of the Kingdom of Tonga is a Constitutional Monarchy.
Divisions of Government
There are three (3) Divisions/Branches of Government:
- The Executive
- The Legislature
- The Judiciary
The Cabinet is the Executive branch of Government, and in accordance with Clause 41, the Ministers are ‘responsible’ in Governmental terms. Ministers meet collectively in Cabinet to consider the business of Government.
The Cabinet consists of the Prime Minister and all other Ministers and is the collective forum for Ministers to make decisions on questions of Government policy and administration, as reflected in Clause 51(1) of the Constitution and Section 17(3) of the Government Act.
The Cabinet also has a number of significant powers including:
- Decisions on the currency of Tonga
- Determination of the term of leases of land up to 99 years in length
- Approval of Governmental expenditure during emergencies
The Cabinet is the centre of the ‘Management of Government. Its relationships with other divisions of Government are both practical and constitutional. The Cabinet connects:
- The Legislature with the Monarch
- The Public Service with the Monarch
- The Public Service with the Legislature
- The Judiciary with the Monarch
- The People and the Kingdom of Tonga with the outside world under International Law.
There are 12 members of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and 10 Ministers. The Hon Prime Minister chairs Cabinet Meetings. The Hon Deputy Prime Minister exercises all powers and performs all duties of the Prime Minister if the Prime Minister is not present.
The Hon Prime Minister is appointed by His Majesty the King, on the recommendation of the Legislative Assembly. The Deputy Prime Minister and Ministers are appointed by the King on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
See MEMBERS OF CABINET