The general election to elect the 14 village representatives and 6 common roll members for the 18th Niue Legislative Assembly is likely to take place in a few weeks’ time, but things are very quiet, perhaps people are trying to get used to some new changes. Last week, in a new move Speaker Hima Douglas made the public announcement of the two important dates, the closing of parliament and the polling date of April 29th.
In the past, it has been the Chief Electoral Officer to make the public announcement, following the Niue Assembly Act 1966.
Speaker Douglas told BCN News last week, that it is time to promote the significance of these two announcements, firstly an opportunity for the Speaker of the Fono Ekepule, to publicly announce the date for the closing of parliament and to announce the nominated date for the general election as informed to him by the Premier. That event took place last Wednesday inside the parliamentary chambers, something the Speaker said he would like to see continue into the future.
The Chief Electoral Officer who is also the Secretary to Justice, Darren Tohovaka is expected to make the official public announcement of the date of the general elections and the commencement of the electoral process, next week after parliament is dissolved on Wednesday, March 29th.
Yesterday BCN News was informed that Cabinet earlier this month approved by regulation the increase to the candidate nomination fee from $11 to $200 which will come into effect in this upcoming election.
In the meantime, sources from the Justice Department said that they are available to answer any voter registration questions now before the process is officially open.
This is now the opportunity for those who’ve just turned 18 to pick up a voter registration form at the Justice Department and an opportunity for new voters to ask any questions they may have about the electoral process and also for those who have returned after living abroad for many years, now is your opportunity to visit the Justice Department and pick up a form or ask any questions you may have about voter eligibility.
In the current law, any person shall entitled to be registered to vote or be nominated as a candidate at these elections if the person meets the following qualifications:
i) – is 18 years of age; and
ii) – is a New Zealand citizen; or
iii) – is a Permanent Resident of Niue; and
iv) – has at any time continuously resided in Niue for 3 years or more; and
v) – was actually residing on Niue 1 year from the date of applying to be registered to vote; or
vi) – was not continuously residing in Niue for 3 years or more but during that period or for a substantial part of that period was undertaking a course of education or was in the service of the Government of Niue; and
vii) – has not been convicted in Niue or any Commonwealth country of any offence punishable by death or by imprisonment for 1 year or more; and
viii) – has not been convicted in Niue of a corrupt practice; or
ix) – has been pardoned or undergone sentence for the said offences; and
x) – is a person of sound mind
The Chief Electoral Officer Darren Tohovaka is expected to make the public announcement of the date of the general election and to begin the election process next week.