24 Nov 2006

Two electoral petitions still to be heard the Cook Islands

11:48 am on 24 November 2006

The hearing for the last two electoral petitions in the Cook Islands could be delayed because of a lack of fuel on Manihiki and there being no judges available.

Six petitions were submitted after the election in September.

Four have been completed with no change to the election results so far, giving the Democratic Party 14 seats, the Cook Islands Party eight, and one seat being won by an independent candidate.

Chief Statistician Taggy Tangimetua says the Ministry of Justice CEO Terry Hagan is currently organising judges but getting them to the northern group is a problem.

"For the Manihiki, I think the problem would be transportation where there is no fuel in Manihiki, and Air Raro is not prepared to fly over and get stranded."

Taggy Tangimetua says one of the Cook Islands shipping lines is due to leave for the northern islands soon with fuel.

The by-election for the tied Akaoa constituency will be held on November the 28th.