5 May 2005

Two Niue seats still to be declared after re-count produces tie

2:00 pm on 5 May 2005

The result in the seat of the Niue Finance Minister, Toke Talagi, has been declared a tie and there will be a recount.

Provisional results indicated Mr Talagi had lost his seat by two votes but a subsequent check showed that votes were tied between the minister and candidate, Maihetoe Hekau.

The Toi constituency seat has also been declared a tie by the electoral office, meaning that two of the 20 assembly seats are still not filled after the weekend elections.

The chief electoral officer, Togia Sioneholo, says under the law both seats will be recounted tomorrow morning before a successful candidate can be found.

"That's just going through the process as required by the electoral laws. If there is a tie then I apply to the judge of the High Court for a recount, it is just an automatic thing for me, it's not an application from any of the candidates."

If both seats still prove even, the winner will be found by drawing a name out of a hat.

However, Mr Sioneholo says candidates still have time to contest the validity of ballot papers.