Tonga is a constitutional monarchy with two levels of government, local and national. There is no constitutional provision for local government and the main legislative texts that cover local government are the Fonos Act 1988 and the District and Town Officers Act 1988. The district officer and town officer are elected by popular vote every three years and report directly to the prime minister’s office, or the governor in the case of Ha’apai and Vava’u divisions. The town officer is empowered to call a normal fono (a community meeting to discuss matters of priority) and also a ‘grand fono’ where the Minister of Internal Affairs or other government official may address the people.
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