Registration for Candidates set for October 21-22


22 September 2010 -The dates for the registration of Candidates set by the Electoral Commission are scheduled for 2 days in mid-October on the 21-22.

Election supervisor, Pita Vuki said on a TV program last Monday that, the registration of candidate for the November General Elections will be held on only 2 days from 10am - 3pm each day. All candidates registrations for Tongatapu constituencies (Tongatapu 1- Tongatapu 10) will register or submit their nominations to the Office of the Electoral Commission at the corner of Salote Road and Tupoulahi Road in Nuku'alofa, whilst all candidates registrations for the outer islands of ‘Eua, Ha'apai, Vava'u and the Niuas will register at each respective Government Offices in those islands.

Requirements and Eligibility for candidacy

On the day of the registration, the returning officers shall attend at the Commission to receive the nomination of any duly qualified candidate or candidates for the seat or seats to be filled.

Every candidate shall be nominated in writing in accordance with Form 4 of the Schedule (Electoral Commission Act) signed by 50 persons who are qualified electors for that electoral district or constituency. The candidate shall assent to the nomination in writing by fixing his signature to the nomination paper.

The candidates shall deposit a sum of TOP$400 in cash payment or only signed Cashier's Cheques are acceptable for the registration fee.

In addition, each candidate must provide documents from the Supreme Court and Magistrate's Courts to confirm having no criminal record; otherwise they will not be legible for registration.

Withdrawing from candidate nomination

According to the Section 9 of Electoral (Amendment) 2010, any candidate may withdraw his nomination by giving the Supervisor Notice in Form 8 of the Schedule, not later than 14 clear

days before polling day. The Supervisor shall forthwith give public notice of any withdrawals of candidacy. Given this withdrawal, this candidate shall not be capable of being elected at any polling station.

A candidate who withdraws shall forfeit his deposit.

Prospective candidates and public servants

A large number of the prospective candidates who have started campaigning for November Election are public servants.

This year, a new amendment to the Public Service Act requires public servants to resign before running as candidates. At the last General Election public servants were allowed to take leave of absence from their role and if successful in their election bid, they could then resign.

With this new Bill just passed, public servants who wish to run for Parliament are required to resign first before registering as candidates.

Nevertheless, local entrepreneurs and clergymen are also in the line up for candidacy and campaigning for this year's general elections.


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