9 Sep 2004

10 of 24 seats in Cooks election undecided

12:07 pm on 9 September 2004

Ten seats out of 24 hang in the balance in the Cook Islands general elections.

Preliminary results show that the Democratic party is poised to take twelve constituencies while the Cook Islands party could take eleven.

But, in ten seats, there are fewer than twenty votes separating the candidates, with special and postal votes still to be counted.

There's been a big swing away from the Democrats on Rarotonga and the party president, Makiuti Tongia, says there are several reasons for this.

"One would be the political reform issues. The people do want political reform and executives of the Democratic party also want reform. Two perhaps is the coalition issues. People don't want political instability created by political coalitions, and three perhaps is the performance of certain members of government."

Mr Tongia says the vote on Rarotonga went 7 to 3 against the Democratic party but he's confident they may overturn one of those seats.

A final count for three electorates is expected to begin today.