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ALOFI, Niue (April 25, 2002 – Niue Economic Review)---Niue's Deputy Premier Young Vivian is set to become the next premier following last weekend's election, which reconfirmed all twenty members of the Legislative Assembly, reports Radio New Zealand International.

After several days of lobbying, the Niue People's Party (NPP) has chosen him as new leader to replace Sani Lakatani, who has been the premier for three years.

Mr. Vivian says the party, which has the support of ten MPs, has managed to forge a coalition with several independents associated with the highest polling common roll candidate, Mr. Toke Talagi, who is likely to be appointed deputy premier.

But Mr. Vivian says to confirm the numbers they have to wait until Wednesday, when the Assembly meets for the first time.

"It's a long time and people can still move around and do things, but I believe I'm quite confident at this point in time that people have made up their minds and they are satisfied with it and they don't want to move around lobbying, talking to people explaining things," Mr Vivian told RNZI.

In a separate report from Niue, political observers say it appears former Premier Sani Lakatani is seeking support outside the party to make a bid for a return to power. He's now at odds with the NPP and is reported to have been lobbying hard within a team of independents.

For additional reports from the Niue Economic Review, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Magazines/Journals/Niue Economic Review.

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