'Eliesa Fifita (L), Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua.

The Tongatapu 1 by-election has turned nasty, with a supporter of unsuccessful candidate Dr Netatua Pelesikoti Taufatofua lodging a formal complaint alleging that more than 20 new voters unlawfully voted.

Supervisor for Elections, Pita Vuki, has confirmed to local media he has received the complaint and will look into the allegations. 

‘Eliesa Fifita alleged that the election administrators allowed people to vote without sighting their identifications, the Matangi Tonga Online has reported.

The paper has quoted Fifita as saying, they have evidence that a lot of people who were allowed by the election administrators to vote without sighting their identifications.

“These people are prepared to provide affidavits to this effect if required. Once again we believe that the Electoral Commission Election administrators invited the public to join them in breaking the Electoral Law.”

Fifita also alleged a page with Siaosi Pohiva’s name was being displayed on election day, on the administrators desk at Hala-‘O-Vave polling.

“He claimed, voters had reported when they approached the voting table at the Hala-‘O-Vave booth, they saw a sign with Siaosi’s name on the table. This is regarded as advertising Siaosi on the By-Election Day, by the election administrators,” the Matangi Tonga has also reported.

He also alleged there were threats and intimidation of voters on Facebook by the PTOA supporters of Pōhiva.

“’Eliesa alleged that since the By-Election campaign started, they posted life-threatening remarks to Dr Netatua and her supporters violating Section 22 (1) (2) (3) of the Electoral Act 2012.

The complaint was also sent to the Attorney General, Ombudsman and Prime Minister.”

As Kaniva news reported last night, Dr Taufatofua has announced on Tuesday she will not pursue a recount.

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.

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