25 Oct 2006

Cooks court orders by-election

2:32 pm on 25 October 2006

The High court in the Cook Islands has ruled that a by-election is to be held in the Akaoa constituency on the main island Rarotonga.

After last month's general election the votes were tied at 179 each for the Democratic Party candidate Keu Mataaroa and the Cook Islands Party's Teariki Heather.

Sara Vui-Talitu reports.

"The Akaoa constituency is one of the bigger electorates on the western side of the main island and was won by CIP in the 2004 election. While CIP say they welcome the decision they wouldn't comment further. But the Democratic Party's legal advisor, Charles Little describes it as a great day for democracy, because the decision is being taken back to the people to let them choose who they want in parliament. The judge has ordered that the by election be held within two months. Meanwhile, three New Zealand judges will be looking at six other electoral petitions over the next couple of weeks."