27 Sep 2006

Democratic Party leads in Cooks election

7:21 pm on 27 September 2006

Preliminary results from the Cook Islands election show that the Democratic Party is set to be returned to power.

The party, which was in power until a snap election was called in July, is set to win 13 seats in the 25-member parliament.

The Cook Islands Party is on track to get only 10 seats following a number of upsets.

Elma Maua reports from the electoral office in Rarotonga.

"The CIP has lost three key seats - the electorate held for 26 years by former prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry, the CIP leader's seat Henry Puna in the Manihiki seat and the seat of the deputy leader, Tupou Faireka. The Matavera seat at the centre of the recent by-election has been retained by CIP's Kiriau Turepu by just two votes. There were four seats with fewer than ten votes between the candidates. There will be a recount with these electorates. While there are still 500 votes to be counted it may be too much for the CIP to make up."