30 Nov 2006

Cooks by-election result stops reform plans

9:36 pm on 30 November 2006

The result of the by-election in Akaoa won by the Cook Islands Party may mean that constitutional reforms sit on the backburner.

The by-election follows a tied result with the Democratic Party candidates picking up 128 votes each following the September general election.

However, yesterday's results show Teariki Heather, winning Akaoa with 204 votes to Teu Mataroa's 174.

Chief Registrar of electors Terry Hagan, says it was a comfortable win for Mr Heather but could prevent the Democratic Party from fulfilling a promise.

"Even with special votes included if Keu was to win all of them he would still fall well short of the margin that Teariki has over him at the moment, at this point in time the Democratic Party will not achieve the two thirds majority they were seeking to carry out Constitutional Reform."

Terry Hagan.

The Democratic Party has won 14 seats, the Cook Islands Party nine, and an independent has won one.

Two electoral petitions are still being heard for the Manihiki and Titikaveka electorates.