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More Niueans are heading to the polls to cast their votes this year.
According to voter registration statistics by the Justice Department, a total of 1, 168 people have registered to vote in 2020 compared to 1, 119 in 2017.
There are more female voters with 620 registered this year compared to 557 male voters this year.
In 2017, there were 588 registered female voters compared to 531 registered male voters.
Alofi South has the highest number of registered voters with 148 females and 119 males.
Meanwhile, the highest number of candidates vying for the village seats are three each for Alofi South, Avatele and Hakupu.
The sitting member for Alofi South, caretaker Minister and MP since 2008 Dalton Tagelagi is said to still retain his seat this year.
He is up against the former Airport Manager and Justice of the Peace Laga Lavini and local plumber Charlie Fuku Togahai.
It’s a different story for the villages of Avatele and Hakupu.
Former Speaker of the House Atapana Siakimotu and current Village Council Chairperson Speedo Hetutu are both newcomers, this their first time contesting the village seat of Avatele against Council member Poimamao Vakanofiti who is trying for his second time this year. Avatele will definitely be voting in a new village member because the sitting member and Cabinet Minister will not be contesting to retain his seat.
The current member for Avatele Billy Talagi opted to contest for the Common Roll instead. With Siakimotu’s experience as the former Niue Consular Rep in New Zealand, former Director of Education and former Speaker of the Fono Ekepule for nine years, this would put him in good stead to represent Avatele.
Given this level of experience and if Avatele vote for Siakimotu he has a good chance of a Cabinet seat.
Meanwhile for the village of Hakupu, Michael Jackson is up against former Director of Community Affairs Fapoi Akesi and Building Contractor Richie Mautama.
If Hakupu chooses to follow the traditional voting style of allowing the current member one more term than Michael Jackson will get back in, but if the mood of the village is for change then Richie Mautama is said to have a good chance especially with the youth vote.
However, his family vote may be split with Fapoi Akesi whose wife is related to Mautama. Five village seats are being contested by women this election.
In the village of Alofi North, Vaiga Tukuitoga is hoping to retain her seat against former Director of Telecom Niue and Chairperson of the Village Council, Tutuli Heka. For Makefu, first timer Mary Anne Talagi is up against Tofua Puletama.
In the village of Hikutavake long serving MP Opili Talafasi is being challenged for the second time by Pamela Anne Falani. For the village of Toi another long serving MP Dion Paki Taufitu is being challenged by another newcomer in Melealiva Kaulima.
Maureen Melekitama is hoping for a second term as the MP of Mutalau but she will have to have a clear win against Makaseau Ioane. In 2017 the results tied Melekitama and Ioane and her name was picked out of the hat to claim the seat.
For the village of Lakepa, Kupa Magatogia is going up against former MP John Operator Tiakia which will be an interesting one to watch. In Liku, caretaker Minister Pokotoa Sipeli and long time MP of Liku is being challenged by newcomer and Public Service Commissioner, Sionetasi Pulehetoa.
The General Election will be held this Saturday 30 May, 2020.
SOURCE: TV NIUE/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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