FINAL TALLY EXPECTED IN TOKELAU REFERENDUM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Feb. 15) – The last round of voting is under way in a referendum that is asking the people of Tokelau whether they want to become an independent state.

Counting of the votes is to take place after the vote on Fakaofo atoll and a result is set to be known tonight. Voting ends at 5 p.m. on the atoll.

There are about 200 voters registered to vote on Fakaofo atoll.

The United Nations is closely monitoring the process.

Tokelau will need a two-thirds majority of registered voters if it’s to exercise self-determination in free association with New Zealand.

[PIR editor’s note: According to Radio Australia, Tokelau’s 615 registered voters are being urged by national leader Pio Tuia to opt for self-government.

February 16, 2006

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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