The island yesterday voted in several new representatives to the next Fono Ekepule according to the provisional results issued last night by the Chief Electoral Officer Darren Tohovaka and Deputy CEO Richard Siataga.
Three of the six representatives from the common roll are newcomers along with three old timers returning in a gender balanced common roll pack, but first the decision must be made with a draw out of the hat for the name of sixth common roll member, between two newcomers Birtha Lisimoni-Togahai and Sonya Talagi.
Minister of Finance Crossley Tatui topped the common roll, as the only candidate to received more than 400 votes accounting for 36.6 percent of the total votes. Not too far behind in number two is newcomer in Emani Fakaotimanava-Lui with 397 votes. Emani is the son of former Niue Premier the late Frank Fakaotimanava-Lui from the village of Alofi North.
In third place on the common roll is another newcomer in lawyer Sinahemana Hekau from Alofi South, she earned 34.9 percent of the votes with 390.
In fourth place is an old timer in former Minister of Social Services Billy Talagi of Avatele, with 367 votes or 32.8 of the total votes cast.
Another old timer and veteran politician O’love Jacobsen remains a popular choice for the people coming in at number 5 on the common roll.
The island await in anticipation as to which of the two seasoned public servants Director of Education Birtha Lisimoni-Togahai or Director of Transport Sonya Talagi will make up the number six on the common roll.
This must be decided before the Premier will decide on when the 18th Niue Legislative Assembly will begin and the 20 member parliament will be sworn in.
Eight villages went to the polls to choose their representatives and voted in new representatives including the youngest member and woman representative for the village of Lakepa in Rhonda Tiakia Tomailuga.
Three newcomers to the Fono Ekepule is the representative for the village of Hikutavake, Ian Hipa and from the village of Liku with Logopati Seumanu and Tutuli Heka is the new representative for the village of Alofi North.
Maureen Melekitama has reclaimed her seat that she lost after a hat draw back in 2020 when she and Maka Ioane were tied for the seat for the village of Mutalau.
Incumbents Tofua Puletama an old timer from the village of Makefu also retained his seat along with Pita Vakanofiti who will return as the representative of Avatele, and Tamakautoga also showed their support for their incumbent Ricky Muaki Makani.
A bittersweet victory for Makani, who in the early hours of polling day lost his mother, who was one of his two nominators but did not get the chance to vote for her son. She passed away before the polls opened.
Over the next few days BCN News will continue to provide news on the outcome of the tied common seat and as events unfold in the lead up to the opening of the 18th Niue Legislative Assembly.