New changes in the lead-up to the 2023 general elections including $200 candidates nomination fee

A polling station in a previous election with the Returning Officer and election officials, with one ballot box for the village seat and one for the 6 common roll seats

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.

Secretary to Justice/Registrar of the Niue High Court Darren Tohovaka is also the Chief Electoral Officer responsible for the running of the upcoming general elections next month

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.

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