Niue Premier Dalton Tagelagi has indicated his preference for an early election in the first quarter of next year.
Speaking on News of the Week programme on Friday, Premier Tagelagi said he intends to invoke article 26 of the Constitution which provides that the Premier may request to the Speaker of the Fono Ekepule to dissolve the Niue Assembly after the expiration of 2 years and nine months from the date of the last preceding general election.
Premier Tagelagi said he has not yet made his request to the Speaker, but he is thinking of calling for the general elections to take place either late February or early March 2023.
The last general election was held on May 30, 2020.
In an earlier interview with BCN News Premier Dalton Tagelagi said in terms of the efficiency of the process of passing the budget, it makes sense to hold the elections earlier in the year to allow the government more time to prepare their budget and proceed with the parliamentary process before the end of financial year June 30th.
In accordance with Article 26(2) of the Niue Constitution, the general elections shall be held no earlier than four weeks and no longer than six weeks after the date of the dissolution of the Assembly.
If the Premier sends his request to the Speaker for the general elections to take place at the end of February, that means that the 17th Assembly will be dissolved around the second week of January 2023, or if he chooses the end of March, then the Assembly may be dissolved on the second week of February. When the Premier makes his request to the Speaker, this may be the first time in a long time the island will go to the polls in the first quarter of the year. In the past, electoral cycles have run for the full three-year term and the general election takes place either in May or June.