Baron Waqa reelected in Nauru polls but Aiwo voting continues

Nauru's President Baron Waqa ... "doesn't want journalists to investigate this issue ... to report on the living or surviving conditions of the refugees." Image: Wikipedia

Voting in Nauru’s election continued today in the one remaining constituency of Aiwo with the incumbent President Baron Divavesi Waqa reelected decisively.

Both he and his Justice and Finance Minister David Adeang were reelected while Nauru’s voters rejected three of the MPs who had been suspended in the outgoing Parliament, reports Pacnews.

Voting resumed today for Aiwo with five candidates contesting two seat.

Radio Australia reports that voting in the general election was completed on Saturday, but a legal technicality delayed voting in Aiwo constituency with the residents now casting their votes today.

“One of the candidates disputed the fact that he had been disqualified, so he took it to the court and the court put out an injunction,” the chief of the international election observers, former Kiribati President Anote Tong, told Pacific Beat.

“As the polling was starting, the court order came and so it was stopped. Then there was a counter legal action. Eventually it was decided to not start, stop and go on the same day because it confused the voters. So the decision was to have it today [Monday].”

A newly-established Nauru Electoral Commission is conducting the general election for the first time, Radio Australia reported.

67 candidates
There were 67 candidates vying for support from just under 8000 registered voters.

The government’s official Twitter account said that apart from the glitch affecting Aiwo, voting ran smoothly across the island nation.

Opposition MP and former president Sprent Dabwido failed in his re-election bid.

He told Pacific Beat he had campaigned to uphold the constitution, but found it difficult to counter the government.

The government is not expected to make an announcement about the election until tomorrow.

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