Dr Taufatofua won’t pursue recount in close by-election

    Only 16 votes determined the winner of the Tongatapu 1 by-election but the candidate on the short end will not pursue a recount.

    Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua was defeated by the PTOA candidate, Siaosi ‘O Vailahi Pohiva.

    Dr Taufatofua has announced her decision on Facebook today Thursday 5, the last day the electoral act allows for candidates to lodge complaints with the supervisor of elections, following the announcement of the results on November 28.

    She said it was a very close race and upon weighing all her options and meeting with her election campaign committee it’s unlikely she will make up the 16 votes.

    The Electoral Commission announced shortly after the election last month it has yet to receive complaints of electoral infringement or applications for recount.

    Pohiva’s victory was an assurance that people still wanted to see a more democratic Parliament and more political reform, RNZ has reported.

    Mr Pohiva told the radio he wanted to see the power of the nobility reduced, but he did not necessarily want their seats in Parliament to go.

    He said there were several options available.

    “There could still be the nobles’ representatives but a system where this group, or class, co-exist, but still there is accountability to the people. Like the people electing the prime minister, would be an example of another option, instead of those being elected having the right to elect the prime minister.”

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