11 Jul 2018

Wait for six electoral petitions in Cook Islands

2:48 pm on 11 July 2018
Cook Islands Finance Minister Mark Brown

Cook Islands finance minister Mark Brown Photo: Cook Islands News

The Cook Islands is now awaiting the outcome of six election petitions lodged in the High Court

Petitions closed last Thursday.

The law in the Cook Islands said petitions must be filed within seven days after the official final election results have been published at the end of June 28.

The ruling Cook Islands Party, or CIP, filed just one petition on behalf of Ngatangiia constituency where Tukaka Ama lost to the Democratic Party's Tamaiva Tuavera.

The Democratic Party filed four petitions in the constituencies of Avatiu-Ruatonga, Murienua, Pukapuka-Nassau and Rakahanga.

Also filing one petition is the One Cook Islands Party in Mauke, where there was a one vote margin with the winner, the CIP's Tai Tura.

Until then the CIP remains a caretaker government.

Polling day was on June 14.

The CIP formed a coalition last week with the three independents and One Cook Islands Party, and the trio were sworn in as cabinet ministers last Friday.

Mark Brown said his party's petition was for the Ngatangiia seat his party lost to the Democratic Party by about 40 votes.

"There are six petitions and we have five against us, the Cook Islands Party and the One Cook Islands Party has filed just one petition against the Democratic Party.

"We have had a look at the petitions and they have closed off and we are quite confident in the petition that we do have will be successful and looking at the petitions filed against the CIP they seem rather weak and we don't think they will make any change to the seats won and declared already," he said.

Mark Brown said the plan now was to keep forging ahead after the prime minister Henry Puna announced the cabinet portfolios this week.

However the CIP will remain a caretaker government until the next parliamentary sitting, which will not happen until all the results of the petitions are known..