Kiribati goes to polls as normal despite Covid-19 threat

Earlybird voter Linda Uan said there was handshaking and smiles as voters left the booth in her area.

She was part of a small lineup of less than a dozen voters as the booth she joined opened at 7am this morning.

Ms Uan said despite health warnings all weekend, including recommendations of social distancing and good hygiene, there was nothing different from the last elections.

She said people seemed to be more excited about exercising their right to vote rather than feeling nervous or fearful of the threat of Covid-19.

Solomons election fraudster registered seven aliases

Police said the 50-year-old man from Malaita province used different dates of birth and other details for each alias.

Only one of them was his true identity.

He was arrested on Tuesday and charged with seven counts of providing misleading information, an offence under the country's new Electoral Act, which carries a maximum penalty of $US6,000 or five years imprisonment or both.

Police said more election fraud cases relating to the voter registration period were being investigated.

Frank Bainimarama sworn in as Fiji PM

Mr Bainimarama's FijiFirst party will have another four years in power after last week's election.

"I, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama swear that I will be faithful and bare true allegiance for the Republic of Fiji, according to law," Mr Bainimarama said before a gathering of party members, diplomats, senior members of the military and judiciary at the presidential residence, State House.

"And I will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the constitution of the Republic of Fiji, so help me God."

Campaign continues after Rabuka found not guilty

Supporters cheered the SODELPA leader, former prime minister and 1987 coup leader Mr Rabuka as he emerged from the Suva Magistrates Court late this morning.

Mr Rabuka was charged by Fiji's Independent Commission Against Corruption under Fiji's political party regulations - for providing a false declaration of his assets, income and liabilities.

If convicted, he would have been out of the running for the 14 November polls.

Fiji political party suspended for 30 days

The party, which has no seats in parliament, has 60 days to remedy the breach.

Earlier this month SODELPA, the largest opposition party in Fiji's parliament, announced Tabuya would stand as one of its candidates in the next election which is due next year.

She said it was the most pragmatic way to go given the five percent threshold for parties to gain a seat and she said the PDP had agreed not to put forward any candidates.

The two parties have been given seven days to provide Saneem with copies of the Memorandum of Understanding they signed earlier this month.

Call for further equality in Tongan parliament

Tonga's Women and Children's Crisis Centre said while it was happy two women have been elected, it was disappointed only 14 percent of people voted for female candidates in last week's election.

The centre's director Ofa Guttenbeil Likiliki said nationally there were only 5,575 votes for women from a total count of nearly 40,000.

She said while special measures like quotas could be short term solutions for increasing women's numbers in parliament, the long term solution is education in schools, as many children are still faced with gender stereotypes at home.

Tonga's elections conducted professionally, Commonwealth

The country went to the polls last week a year earlier than scheduled after the King dissolved parliament in September.

But Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva's Democratic Party won a resounding victory in the peoples' electorates, with 14 candidates - including two women - winning seats.

The observer group's chair, Margaret Wilson, said the election was conducted thoroughly by officials and the results reflected the wishes of the people.

All but two nobles re-elected in Tonga

The nine seats set aside for nobles are voted for by the hereditary nobles and five life peers.

Lord Fakafanua replaces Lord Tu'iha'ateiho as a Ha'apai representative while the Tongatapu nobles Vaea and Vaha'i were tied and their seat will be decided by coin toss this evening.

Over 59,000 people registered to vote for the other 17 People's Representatives, with provisional votes for those seats due later tonight.

The election comes a year earlier than scheduled after the King dissolved Parliament because of concerns over the government's conduct.

Tongans encouraged to vote in election

Margret Wilson QC, chair of the Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) to Tonga's National Parliamentary Elections this year made the plea after being elected to lead the COG.

In a statement Ms Wilson said their task as observers is to consider all factors relating to the credibility of the electoral process as a whole.

"Accordingly, we are charged with observing and evaluating the pre-election period, the poll, the count and the declaration of the results," Ms Wilson said.

Vaea says Tongan MPs need to act, not talk

The elections were called a year earlier than scheduled after the King dissolved Parliament in August, due to concerns about the conduct of the government.

Lord Vaea hopes to be re-elected into one of the nine seats set aside and voted for by the 33 hereditary nobles and five life peers.

RNZI reports the remaining 17 seats are popularly elected.

Vaea, who Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva once referred to as the unofficial 'Leader of the Opposition', said whoever made it into the house needs to make sure legislative action occurs rather than just talk.