7 Oct 2004

Nine electoral petitions thrown out in Cook Islands

11:20 am on 7 October 2004

Only three of the 12 electoral petitions in the Cook Islands will be heard, after nine were either struck out or withdrawn in the high court yesterday.

The remaining petitions to be heard will be ones filed by Norman George against Eugene Tatuava for the Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua constituency; Henry Puna against prime minister Dr Robert Woonton for Manihiki; and Tiki Matapo against Robert Wigmore in Titikaveka.

The last two of the nine other petitions were struck out yesterday morning due to not having specific grounds laid out in the petition as required in the Electoral Act.

Then yesterday afternoon, three other petitions were withdrawn.

Deputy chief electoral officer Nooapii Tearea says the petition hearing for Titikaveka constituency will be held in the court beginning on Monday next week.

The petition by Mr Puna against Dr Woonton will start on Monday 18 October in Rarotonga.

Today on Atiu, evidence will be heard concerning the petition laid by Mr George against Mr Tatuava as first respondent and deputy chief electoral officer Nooapii Tearea as the second respondent.