Vava'u Islands, Tonga. Editorial Credit: Danita Delmont/


Tonga’s constitutional monarchy has featured a prime minister backed by a mostly elected parliament since 2010. However, the king retains important powers, including the authority to veto legislation, dissolve the parliament, and appoint judicial officials. While civil liberties are generally protected, ongoing problems include political pressure on the state broadcaster and land laws that discriminate against women.

FIW 2021 crop 2 cover photo

Freedom in the World — Tonga Country Report

Tonga is rated Free in Freedom in the World, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.