The minister of Social Services, Hon. Sauni Tongatule yesterday made his first public statement on social media, announcing that he will not be seeking re-election at the upcoming general election at the end of the month.
Minister Tongatule said that it was not an easy decision to step down from his short political career, but he trusts in God that he has made the right decision.
Yesterday, Premier Dalton Tagelagi confirmed to BCN News that just before the closing of the 17th Assembly last month, Minister Tongatule had informed him and the Cabinet of his decision not to continue in politics.
Sauni Tongatule is one of the few former Heads of government departments to be elected to the Fono Ekepule. He was elected as a Common Roll member three years ago in May 2020.
In his statement on social media Minister Tongatule thanked the people of Niue and those who voted for him in 2020. He thanked all the public servants and heads of departments in his Ministry of Social Services as well as senior officials of government.
He was not available for an interview with BCN News yesterday. Hon. Sauni Tongatule will now have more time to spend with his family, his wife Maria, their five children, and four grandchildren in their home village of Lakepa.
Before entering politics, Sauni Tongatule was a career public servant and was Director of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries for many years before moving on to be the first Director of the Department of Environment, his last role before retirement.