A registered elector on the Alofi South electoral roll Carol Edwards says that her appeal of the decision by the Chief Electoral Officer Darren Tohovaka to decline her nomination form to be a candidate for the Alofi South Village council, has again been declined.
Carol Edwards told BCN news that she had also written to the chair of NPSC and the Acting Director-General of Social Services stating her disappointment.
Mrs Edwards says that she was informed by the Chief electoral officer that her application was declined because she is physically not in Niue and his decision is based on the interpretation of residency under section 2 of the Niue assembly act 1966.
However, lawyer Togia Sioneholo former Secretary to Justice and Chief electoral officer told BCN news “If the person’s name is on the roll, that is all that is required. Residency is a different thing. Being on the roll means the person is qualified”.
This afternoon Darren Tohovaka confirmed to BCN news that this matter is now before the Niue high court and that it will not appropriate for him to comment.
Carol Edwards says that as a person who lives in Niue and works in Niue this is unacceptable. She says that if she is considered not a resident of Niue because she is temporarily abroad, and she is not a resident of NZ does that mean that she belongs to no country.
BCN news understands that Mrs Edwards is in Auckland on medical and is expected back to the island soon. She is a senior permanent public servant, the Principal of Niue Primary School.
Meanwhile, the public service commission confirmed that they were contacted by Mrs Carol Edwards yesterday about the decision of the Chief electoral officer to decline her nomination to the Alofi South village council elections.
The statement from the Office of the Public service Commission says that the matter is not yet a Niue public service matter, but that they have full confidence in the Chief Electoral Officer and other election officials to perform the functions and processes outlined in the Niue Assembly Act.
According to the Public Service Commission, there is a process to be followed under the Assembly Act by all parties including the Commission. The integrity of the electoral process depends on all parties following that process.
Carol Edwards this morning told BCN news that she is very disappointed that she as a local resident is treated like she doesn’t belong to this country.