Activist Walter Ritte withdraws from Native Hawaiian election

Activist Walter Ritte withdraws from Native Hawaiian election

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Longtime Native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte announced Wednesday he is no longer running for a delegate spot in the upcoming Na'i Aupuni election, set for Nov. 1, 2015.

Native Hawaiians who are registered for the election will vote for delegates, who will then meet at a convention, or 'aha, next year to decide what type of nation or government, if any, will be created or reorganized.

Ritte said he's dropping out of the elections because he's concerned about the process -- and it's ultimate end.

"If you're going to plant a seed that is not pono, then you're going to harvest something that is not pono," he said. The election, he added, is "a fake pathway to nationhood and its disillusioned vision of sovereignty."

Ritte, who believes the Kingdom of Hawaii should be restored, not only removed himself for consideration in the vote, but urged others to do the same.

"We're hoping to create a groundswell to say that this is not ... the direction we should be going as a nation," he said. "It's being rushed, there are no rules. This thing is not the kind of place or thing we want to build our nation on."

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs created the registry for the upcoming election.

Na'i Aupuni, an independent organization, released this statement to Hawaii News Now in reaction to Ritte's comments:

"Na`i Aupuni encourages Native Hawaiians to voice their opinion on the Na`i Aupuni process because the voters and delegate candidates should hear all voices.

Opponents of the election tried to stop it in court, arguing it's race-based and unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Seabright ruled last week that the election could go forward.

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