26 Apr 2004

Run-off poll in Cook Islands to determine Atiu candidate

4:13 pm on 26 April 2004

An MP and adviser to the Cook Islands prime minister has been told to hold a runoff election with a challenger in his constituency.

The Democratic party has informed MP Norman George, and challenger Eugene Tatuava, that whoever wins the runoff meeting will be adopted as the party's candidate in forthcoming elections.

Party president, Iaveta Short, says a meeting has been held with the men who both claimed majority support in their constituency.

He says the only way to resolve the situation is with a runoff election.

"We recommended the runoff meeting to be held next week, basically because we would like to have this matter cleared up before the party conference. We are having our national conference the first week of May so next week is the only week left."

Democratic Party president, Iaveta Short.

Mr George says he has the support for the Atiu seat of Tengatangi Areora Ngatiarua.

And he says he is certain that the community will back him.

The person that's contesting my seat is not in the same league. Completely not in the same league. I get results for the island. I get things done. And there is no likelihood of that happening by the person that wants to be in my place.

Norman George says he has done many things for Atiu, including various roading projects and created employment opportunities for locals.