NIUE GENERAL ELECTIONS SET FOR APRIL

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ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, Jan. 6) – Niue will go to the polls for general elections in the second week of April.

Premier Young Vivian told the Niue News that the government would complete its full term before the general election is held.

Under terms of the country’s constitution, the Speaker dissolves the Legislative Assembly at the request of the Premier.

A new election must be held not less than four weeks and no more than six weeks after the dissolution of the Assembly.

About 800 citizens are expected to vote in the general election, in which 14 members of the Legislative Assembly will be elected from village constituencies and six from the common roll.

Most village representatives are expected to run for reelection unopposed. A vacancy, following the removal of former Premier Sani Lakatani due to non-attendance at meetings, is likely to be filled by former Niue High Commissioner in Wellington, Hima Takelesi, who is back on Niue.

It could be a four-way race for the leadership in the April general election, according to former Premier Sani Lakatani.

The one time leader, who last year lost his job as a legislator because of non-attendance at Assembly meetings, told Radio New Zealand that Premier Young Vivian stands a good chance of getting re-elected. That’s because he had presided over large increases in aid from New Zealand, including a new hospital.

But he added Mr Vivian is likely to face a challenge from Minister of Finance Toke Talagi, the former High Commissioner to New Zealand Hima Takelesi returning to politics after a stint in Wellington and veteran Opposition leader Mrs Veve Jacobsen.

Mr Lakatani recently met with Premier Young Vivian in Auckland. Both politicians were founders of the Niue Peoples Party and up until 2002 controlled the Treasury benches.

But when Mr Vivian won the leadership after the last election the NPP disintegrated and Mr Lakatani fell from favor. As a Cabinet Minister he voted against the first Vivian budget. Mr Lakatani now resides in Auckland caring for his sick wife – he announced recently he had no plans to seek re-election.

January 7, 2005

Niue News: http://www.niuenews.nu/

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