4 May 2004

Cook Islands Democratic Party decides today on contested candidacy

3:23 pm on 4 May 2004

The Cook Islands Democratic Party is to decide today who will stand as its candidate in one of the contested Atiu seats.

The party president, Iaveta Short, says a committee will meet and assess the results of the run-off election between sitting MP, Norman George and challenger, Eugene Tatuava.

Mr Tatuava says he won convincingly, gaining 93 votes out of the 128 Democratic party supporters registered for the Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua constituency.

But, Mr Short says the committee will assess a report today from its secretary-general on the election before a decision is made.

"The key for me is to be satisfied that it was run properly and that I can rely on that result. Remember this process was initiated and directed by the party. We must pursue that to the end. We've indicated that if we're satisfied that one of the candidates had the appropriate level of support, we will endorse that candidate."

Mr Short says the decision will be made public tomorrow.

Mr Tatuava says he expects the party to endorse him for the candidacy of the Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua seat.

Mr Tatuava says that endorsement is expected this week and he's not expecting Mr George to take court action.

Not a show. Not a show. We have done everything legally and everything according to what is required by the Democratic party to go through the whole process. It's legally done so I can't see anything illegal about it so I've convincingly won.

Eugene Tatuava.

Norman George could not be contacted for comment.