28 Sep 2006

Democratic Party in Cook Islands begins celebrating

5:54 am on 28 September 2006

The Democratic Party is celebrating its victory in the Cook Islands snap election.

After preliminary results declared last night, the Democratic Party has 14 seats with the Cook Islands party 10.

Elma Maua reports from Rarotonga.

"The Democratic party created history last night, picking up three key seats of the CIP, that of Takuvaine formerly held by Sir Geoffrey Henry for 26 years before his retirement in July. The other was newly appointed leader Henry Puna who lost the Manihiki seat by seven votes, but it was the loss of the Tupapa Maraerenga seat held by CIP since the first election in 1965 that came as the biggest shock that seat was won by Pastor John Tangi by 57 votes. No problems however for the caretaker prime minister Jim Marurai and Demo leader Dr Terepai Maoate who were both returned with comfortable margins. However with 500 votes still to be counted and six marginal seats the Cook Islands Party won't concede defeat."