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Tonga and the King George Tupou V

 Posted by , July 13, 2014 at 11:23:14 :: Tonga

George Tupou VTonga, officially the Kingdom of Tonga (Tongan: Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a state and an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, comprising 176 islands scattered over 700,000 square kilometres (270,000 sq mi) of ocean in the South Pacific. Fifty-two of the islands are inhabited.

The Kingdom stretches over a distance of about 800 kilometres (500 mi) in a north-south line located at about a third of the distance from New Zealand to Hawaii (USA).

Tonga has a population of a bit more than 100,000.

Tonga operates as a constitutional monarchy. Reverence for the monarch replaces that held in earlier centuries for the sacred paramount chief, the Tuʻi Tonga. Criticism of the monarch is held to be contrary to Tongan culture and etiquette. A direct descendant of the first monarch, King George Tupou V, his family, some powerful nobles, and a growing non-royal elite caste live in much wealth, with the rest of the country living in relative poverty.

George Tupou V (Tongan: Siaosi Tupou V, full name: Siaosi Tāufaʻāhau Manumataongo Tukuʻaho Tupou V), (born 4 May 1948) is the current King of Tonga. He is the eldest son of the late King Tāufaʻāhau Tupou IV (b. 1918 - d. 2006), and Queen Halaevalu Mataʻaho ʻAhomeʻe (b. 1926). He was appointed Crown Prince on 4 May 1966. In daily life, he was better known by one of his traditional chiefly titles Tupoutoʻa.

As Crown Prince, Tupoutoʻa held great influence in Tongan politics, and was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1979 to 1998. He has substantial business interests in Tonga and abroad, and is co-chairman of the Shoreline Group/Tonfön. As king, his first proclamation was that he would dispose of all his business assets as soon as reasonably possible, and in accordance with the law. Tonfön has since been sold, but the King was unable to get rid of the remainder of the Shoreline Group after the 2006 Nuku'alofa riots scared potential buyers from making a deal.

The King is unmarried, and has a daughter born out of marriage, 'Ilima Lei Fifita Tohi (born 1974). She married police officer Tulutulumafua i'Olotele Kalaniuvalu in 1997, and has three children. According to the Constitution of Tonga, ʻIlima is ineligible to inherit the throne, as only children born within Royal marriage may take the throne.

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