Electoral Commission Act 2010

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Electoral Commission Act 2010


Act 11 of 2010





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ELECTORAL COMMISSION ACT 2010





Electoral Commission Act 2010 Arrangement of Sections





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Act No.11 of 2010 Page 3




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ELECTORAL COMMISSION ACT 2010

Arrangement of Sections

Section

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY 5

1 Short Title .......................................................................................................... 5
2 Interpretation ..................................................................................................... 5

PART 2 - THE COMMISSION 6

3 Establishment of Commission ............................................................................ 6
4 Members of Commission ................................................................................... 6
5 Remuneration..................................................................................................... 6
6 Officers .............................................................................................................. 6
7 Chairman ........................................................................................................... 6
8 Meetings ............................................................................................................ 7
9 Delegation ......................................................................................................... 7

PART 3 – ROLE OF COMMISSION 7

10 Principal role of the Commission........................................................................ 7
11 Funding of Commission ..................................................................................... 8
12 Specialists .......................................................................................................... 8
13 Protection of Commissioners and officers........................................................... 8
14 Annual and other reports .................................................................................... 8
15 Regulations ........................................................................................................ 9
16 Transitional ........................................................................................................ 9


Electoral Commission Act 2010 Section 1





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Act No.11 of 2010 Page 5




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ELECTORAL COMMISSION ACT 2010

Act No.11 of 2010

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH AN ELECTORAL COMMISSION TO

SUPERVISE ELECTIONS AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES

I assent,

PRINCESS SALOTE PILOLEVU TUITA,

6
th

May 2010.

BE IT ENACTED by the King and Legislative Assembly of Tonga in the Legislature of

the Kingdom as follows:

______________________________________________________________________

PART 1 - PRELIMINARY

1 Short Title

This Act may be cited as the Electoral Commission Act 2010.

2 Interpretation

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —

“Commission” means the Electoral Commission established by section 3;

“election period” means the period from the issue of writs of election until the close

of polling at the election;

“Supervisor of Elections” means the Supervisor of Elections appointed under
section 3 of the Electoral Act.

Section 3 Electoral Commission Act 2010





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PART 2 - THE COMMISSION

3 Establishment of Commission

There is hereby established a Commission to be known as the Electoral
Commission.

4 Members of Commission

(1) The Commission shall consist of the following —

(a) a person appointed by the King for a term of five years, who will be the

Chairman;

(b) the Supervisor of Elections; and

(c) the Auditor General.

(2) The Chairman and Commissioners and any person appointed under section 13

shall not be subject to direction by any person or the Public Service Act 2002
in the exercise of their functions under this Act.

(3) In the event that the Chairman, for any reason, is unable to perform his

functions as a Commissioner, the King may appoint an Acting Chairman.

5 Remuneration

The Chairman, members of the Commission and any person appointed under section
6(3) or section 13, may be engaged on a part-time or full-time basis and shall be paid

such remuneration or allowances, or both, as may be determined by the independent

Commission on higher salary and remuneration.

6 Officers

(1) The Supervisor of Elections shall be responsible for the regular business of

the Commission, supervise all officers and other staff and shall perform such
other functions as are specified in the Electoral Act and any other Act.

(2) The Commission may, subject to section 3(2) of the Electoral Act, with the

approval of Cabinet, appoint such qualified officers and staff, full-time or
part-time, as may be required for the proper conduct of the business of the

Commission.

7 Chairman

The Chairman shall be the head of the Commission and shall be responsible for the

efficient and effective operation of the Commission.

Electoral Commission Act 2010 Section 8





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8 Meetings

(1) The quorum of the Commission shall be 2 members, one of whom shall be the
Chairman.

(2) The Chairman shall —

(a) call and attend regular meetings of the Commission;

(b) preside over the meetings of the Commission; and

(c) co-opt any person from the public or specialist to any meeting of the

Commission if he considers it necessary.

(3) The power of the Commission to perform its functions shall not be impaired

by reason of the lack, absence or inability of the Chairman or any

Commissioner to act.

(4) Subject to this Act, the Commission shall determine its own procedure.

9 Delegation

The Commission may delegate to a member, officer or committee of the

Commission the exercise of any of its functions but such delegation shall not

prevent the exercise of the function by the Commission.

PART 3 – ROLE OF COMMISSION

10 Principal role of the Commission

(1) In the exercise of its functions and duties, the Commission shall be

independent.

(2) The Commission shall, subject to this Act, —

(a) undertake the long term planning for the proper conduct of elections

and the establishment and maintenance of proper records and rolls;

(b) consider the need for regulations and other rules for the proper and

efficient conduct of elections and related activities;

(c) as authorised by law, make and amend regulations and keep them under
review;

(d) make recommendations for changes to the law concerning elections;

(e) under the powers granted to it in the Electoral Act, determine appeals,

challenges and any other disputes;

(f) recommend prosecution for election offences;

(g) devise, undertake and review programmes of education for voters,
candidates and others involved in elections;

Section 11 Electoral Commission Act 2010





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(h) compile and make reports on elections and related matters, and

recommend changes to the law and procedures to improve the electoral
system;

(i) publish for general information such data and reports on elections as the
Commission thinks fit;

(j) within 3 months after any general election, report to the Cabinet on any
changes that it recommends should be implemented before the next

general election;

(k) for the purpose of promoting fairness and equal opportunities for all
candidates and to prevent abuses, to regulate the use of radio,

television, newspaper, internet and other political notices, reports,
appeals and advertising during the election period;

(l) regulate and monitor electoral expenditure by candidates in accordance
with section 24 of the Electoral Act; and

(m) perform any of the functions that are specified for it in the Electoral Act
or any other Act.

11 Funding of Commission

The funds available to the Commission shall be —

(a) moneys allocated by the Legislative Assembly for that purpose; and

(b) moneys paid to or for it by an external agency or government for
general purposes, for a specific purpose, or for the remuneration and

benefit of specialists.

12 Specialists

The Commission may, for the purpose of any aspect of its functions or for a
particular election or undertaking, engage specialists on a fixed term or temporary

basis to —

(a) perform such work or assist in such matters as are specified; or

(b) advise the Commission.

13 Protection of Commissioners and officers

Persons appointed under this Act shall not be liable for any action done by them in

good faith whilst carrying out their functions under this Act.

14 Annual and other reports

(1) The Commission shall report to His Majesty the King and the Speaker of the

Legislative Assembly —

Electoral Commission Act 2010 Section 15





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(a) on its activities for each calendar year by 30 March in the next year;

and

(b) upon the conduct of any general election, and on matters arising from

such experience, within 3 months of the general election.

15 Regulations

The Electoral Commission may, with the approval of Cabinet, make regulations

which are necessary or expedient for carrying out the purposes of this Act.

16 Transitional

Until an independent Commission on higher salary and remuneration is established,
section 5 shall be read as if the reference to such an independent Commission was a

reference to His Majesty in Council.



Passed by the Legislative Assembly this 15
th
day of April 2010.

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