Pacific radio news

Niue prepares for elections

Niue voters will head to the polls this weekend to decide who will lead their country for the next three years. 

More than 1200 voters are registered from the island's population of 1600. 

Questions have been raised as to whether New Zealand's Niuean population of more than 20,000 should have a say in Niue's elections. 

Niue's Chief Electoral Officer Hubert Kalauni says it's an ongoing debate.

"With the current legislation it's very hard for a member in New Zealand, unless we change the legislation," he says. "We need to review the election roll."

24 candidates are in the running for the assembly's 20 seats.

Six candidates will be elected from the common roll, and 14 will be elected by the village constituencies.

Kalauni says polling booths will be set up in 11 of the 14 villages, and three of
the seats are being contested by a single candidate. 

Meanwhile a team of observers from the Pacific Forum Secretariat is in Niue overseeing the election process. 

The team led by Kiribati electoral commissioner Benedetti Betero arrived in Niue late last month to observe the pre-polling environment, polling, and counting. 

Kalauni says polling booths will open at 9 am and close at 6 pm on Saturday, with provisional results expected the same evening. 

Niue's Premier Sir Toke Talagi will be seeking a fourth term in Niue's General Assembly. 

Tags: Pasifika, elections, politics, Niue, Hubert Kalauni,