22 Oct 2007

Tokelau referendum on self-government underway

10:49 am on 22 October 2007

The ballot boxes for Tokelau's referendum on whether to become self governing are now on board ship on their way to the three atolls.

The first stage in the ballot has already been held in Samoa.

Philippa Tolley was there to watch the voting.

"The 3 ballot boxes are due in Fakaofo atoll first, for the eligible voters there to cast their vote. They will be adding papers to those cast in Apia by Tokelauans who could not be at home to take part in the ballot. Special votes have also already been put into the boxes. Tokelau's Ulu, or leader , Kuresa Nasau, has spoken of his confidence that more than 85 per cent of eligible voters will take part. If the vote is yes, the Ulu has flagged that he would like to go back to the draft constitution to address issues such as the number of representatives in the Fono and the rotating of Tokelau's leadership on a yearly basis."