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Newcomer and former Niue Secretary of Government Richard Hipa who topped the polls in the Niue General Elections with 440 votes in the Common Roll is most likely to contest the leadership role of government.
Sir Toke Talagi had chosen to contest the Common Roll despite concerns over his ill health, seeking a fifth term however was unsuccessful in winning a seat after ranking 10th in the polls. His 12 years reign as Premier has now ended.
A new Premier will be chosen at the first sitting of the incoming Niue Assembly.
Richard Hipa who topped the polls is likely to be contesting the leadership role. Traditionally whoever tops the common roll is often seen as the person who has gained the mandate of the people to contest the leadership role of Premier which is elected by the assembly.
Another newcomer Sauni Tongatule, a former Director of the Environment Department in second place with 391 votes.
Crossley Tatui in 3rd place with 377 and Stan Kalauni in 4th place 365 votes who are Common roll Members retain their seats.
Veteran politicians O’love Jacobsen is in 5th place with 358 and Terry Coe in 6th place with 347. These two Opposition MPs retain their seats.
The results took people by surprise as most were predicting the next leadership from veteran politicians who publicly expressed their intention to contest the premier role.
One of them is Billy Talagi who was the Acting Premier in the absence of Sir Toke Talagi and was a Cabinet Minister for Social Services however he lost his seat in Saturday’s election.
Other main contenders included O’love Jacobsen and Terry Coe.
O’love Jacobsen who is the longest-serving female MP in Niue was the name most people talked about with respect to the Premiership with even some of the candidates stating they would align themselves with her if they are elected.
Another common roll MP Joan Viliamu lost her seat reducing the number of female MPs in the house to only three.
A total of 51 candidates contested the election, 26 in the common roll while 26 candidates for the village seats.
Official results will be released by the Chief Electoral Officer on Tuesday 03 June.
SOURCE: TV NIUE/PACNEWS
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