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75 candidates register for 18 November Tonga general election

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A total of 75 candidates had registered for the Tonga General Election on 18 November, when registration closed at 3:00pm Tuesday, 28 September 2021. Meanwhile, over 64,000 voters have registered to elect their 17 representatives to the Tonga Legislative Assembly. The Electoral Commissioner, Pita Vuki said that two candidates from Tongatapu were disqualified because they failed to complete their application forms...

Cook Islands border restrictions extended until November

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Border restrictions to the Cook Islands have been extended until November. A statement from Prime Minister Mark Brown’s office late Tuesday afternoon said Cook Islands will further extend its travel advisory restricting inward arrivals to the nation until 11.59pm on Thursday 04 November 2021. Hi announcement came after it was revealed there were 45 new cases in Delta community outbreak in...

PIF chair reflects on painful legacy of nuclear testing, calls for disarmament

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Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) chair Dr Satyendra Prasad said he was concerned about the more than 13,000 nuclear weapons around the world, many of which remain in a state of ‘high operational alert’. The Fiji Permanent Representative to the UN made his remarks before the UNGA76 plenary on Tuesday to commemorate the international day for the total elimination of nuclear...

Savai’i voters praise electoral change

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-Voters from the big island of Savai'i have applauded new amendments made to the Electoral Act, passed in Samoa Parliament on Tuesday night aimed at providing clarity about candidates' eligibility and how to conduct elections and by-elections. They were happy specifically with the decision to bring back special voting booths, to cater to voters in the rural areas and Savai'i-...

Fiji Health Ministry prepares for lifting of international travel restrictions

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Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services is preparing for the lifting of international travel restrictions, and other social and workplace engagement restrictions, noting that several countries have seen an increased number of cases with the relaxation of restrictions. Permanent secretary Dr James Fong announced this in his COVID-19 update saying there will always be people vulnerable to the virus...

Solomon Islands PM warns about nuclear pollution in Pacific by AUKUS

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Addressing the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) last week Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sovagare said his country being party to the 1985 South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty would like to keep the region nuclear free and put the region’s nuclear legacy behind it. “The ocean remains the life blood for our survival and would like...

Young people urge leaders to protect the most vulnerable against climate change

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More than 2,000 young leaders and youth-led organisations from across the Commonwealth are urging governments to respect the needs and contributions of the world's most vulnerable groups, in the lead up to global climate talks in Glasgow in November. The Commonwealth Youth Statement on Climate Change, released today, appeals to governments to include youth, women, the elderly and people with...

Fiji records 81 new cases of COVID-19, three new deaths reported

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Fiji has recorded 81 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths Wednesday, increasing the total number of cases to 50,883 and 622 deaths since the outbreak in April. Permanent secretary for Health, Dr James Fong said there have been 57 new recoveries to report since the last update, which means that there are now 12,881 active cases. “There have been...

PM Marape to focus on climate, biodiversity at COP26 meet

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Papua New Guinea will seek to progress a number of issues on behalf of its people and the wider Pacific Blue economy at the COP 26 next month in Glasgow. Prime Minister James Marape in his address to the 76th UN General Assembly said that it was vital for PNG and the Pacific leadership to commit to the energy targets...

Vanuatu RSE workers excited about one-way travel bubble with NZ

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Seasonal workers from Vanuatu are happy to be able to bypass managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) when the new one-way RSE travel bubble with New Zealand begins in October, Vanuatu consul-general McKenzie Kalotiti says. At Monday’s post-Cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed RSE workers from Vanuatu would be able to skip MIQ from 04 October. Quarantine-free entry would be...

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Fiji’s Great Council of Chiefs to meet in May

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One of the Pacific’s oldest political institutions, the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC) abolished in 2012 by former Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama will...

Fiji Parliament selected Standing Orders waived, President urges government to uphold rule of law

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Members of Fiji Parliament can pray in their own faith and speak in their own language if they choose to. Speaker of Parliament Ratu Naiqama...

Former Fiji’s Supervisor of Election Mohammed Saneem referred to FICAC

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The Fijian Elections Office (FEO)has referred Mohammed Saneem to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption (FICAC) for probable abuse of office and for corrupting...