Tonga. According to Countryaah.com, Tonga population in 2020 is estimated at 105,706. Tonga was hit in January by tropical cyclone Ian, classified as Category 5 on the Saffir – Simpson scale, which means it reached a wind speed of over 69 m/s. The worst hit was the islands of the Ha’apai group in central Tonga where the cyclone caused great havoc, made thousands of homeless and cost a person life. Almost all crops were destroyed and the population became dependent on emergency food shipments.
In April, it was confirmed that Tonga suffered from an outbreak of the chikungunya disease. In total, over 10,000 people were infected by the virus, which is spread by mosquitoes. Following measures such as destroying the possibility of the mosquito-borne mosquitoes to multiply, the WHO (World Health Organization) in September found that the number of cases began to decline.
In August, according to topb2bwebsites, Tonga was visited by a Chinese hospital ship, where over 4,000 people received free care for one week.
The population of the islands of the Ha’apai group was hit in September by water shortages due to an extreme dry period. The situation was made worse by the fact that many still lived in tents after the cyclone that hit the islands in January.
In October, the government decided to stop harvesting sea cucumbers for the next five years. The measure is considered necessary for the stock of sea cucumbers, an animal considered to be a delicacy in parts of Asia, to have a chance to recover.
The second fully democratic election ever in the country was held in November. Of the 26 members of Parliament, 17 are elected in general elections while nine are elected in the nobility. Nine of the eligible seats went to the Friendship Islands Democratic Party (DPFI), which lost three seats from the last election, while the other eight went to independent candidates. About half the parliament was elected for the first time, but no woman was among the newly elected members. The Prime Minister was named ‘Akilisi Pohiva, who also took care of the post of Foreign Minister. According to Abbreviation Finder, TO stands for Tonga in English. Click to see other meanings of this 2-letter acronym.
The small kingdom of Tonga, independent since 1970, has always been dominated by an absolutist type of government, characterized by the absence of political and parliamentary debate and by the concentration of powers and offices in the person of the king, since 1965 Taufa ‘ ahau Tupou iv. Only during the nineties did an opposition movement (Movimento per la Democracy) establish itself in the country, which succeeded in getting its representatives to be elected to the Legislative Assembly (February 1993), which however had scarce powers. In August 1994 this movement gave birth to the country’s first political party, the People’s Party, which in the January 1996 elections won six of the nine deputies of the Assembly elected by universal suffrage. Also in 1996 Akilisi Pohiva, leader of the opposition and protagonist of many battles against the regime, renewed his protest against the government’s practice of granting the nationality of Tonga to foreign citizens willing to buy it. The sale of passports, which began in the 1980s, was aimed in particular at the Chinese, subject to numerous travel restrictions. De facto discontinued in the early 1990s, the practice was again approved by the Assembly in July 1996. In the March 1999 elections, after that in September 1998 the king had suspended the Legislative Assembly indefinitely, the People’s Party lost one of its representatives, going from six to five seats. A significant change in foreign policy took place at the end of 1998, when the twenty-year friendship with Taiwan was broken and new diplomatic relations were established with China. This turnaround guaranteed the country entry into the UN (September 1999).