20 Aug 2010

Cook Islands run-off's missed deadline says Democratic Party secretary

4:50 pm on 20 August 2010

The Cook Islands Democratic Party's secretary in the Ngatangiia electorate says a run-off selection has missed the deadline.

Iaveta Short, Stephen Peyroux and Mann Short have put their names forward for the selection process, which'll culminate in a vote next Wednesday.

The sitting candidate, Sir Terepai Maoate, who was reconfirmed in May, will also stand in the run-off but is declining to comment on the matter.

Iaveta Short says the reconfirmation process was pushed through to prevent other candidates standing.

But the party secretary, Teroro Tapurau Toteni, denies that.

"None of the two who were present in the meeting, being Mann Short and Stephen Peyroux, actually stood up and put their name into the hat. Why didn't they register their interest when the question was asked, not just once, the question was asked twice that night whether there were any other members interested in standing for the Ngatangiia electorate. But they didn't."

Teroro Tapurau Toteni says there's strong support for Sir Terepai and the run-off selection has the potential to split the Democratic Party.