The Premier Sir Toke Takagi has publicly announced he will contest the General Election scheduled for Saturday May 30th.
The Premier made the announcement in the last sitting of the Fono Ekepule yesterday.
Sir Toke Talagi has served as the Premier of Niue since 2008. He has been in politics since 2002 and has also served as a Cabinet Minister in Young Vivian’s government.
Sir Toke announced his intention to contest despite growing concerns over his health condition. Calls have been made by the Opposition, particularly Terry Coe for the Premier to retire with dignity and grace before the General Election.
“ I think he needs to retire with dignity now and with grace so that when the election takes place he doesn’t have to worry about whether he’s going to get in or not. He can retire gracefully now and let the country get on with an Acting Premier till the elections takes place.” said Coe
Last year, Sir Toke Talagi received medical treatment in Auckland and has since been wheelchair bound. There have been concerns expressed by the Opposition MPs over the Premier’s prolonged absence and uncertain health status.
It’s been evident in the past few sittings of the Assembly, Sir Toke has not been able to articulate as he normally does because of ill health.
In the last sitting of Parliament on Wednesday April 29th, Common Roll Member Crossley Tatui raised the issue of Article 9 of the Niue Constitution whereby if the Premier is unwell and unable to carry out his duties then the Speaker upon the request of the Cabinet is to appoint a Cabinet member as the Acting Premier.
However the issue raised by Tatui was not discussed further given this was the final sitting of the Assembly.