18 Nov 2010

First results through in Cook Islands election

7:37 pm on 18 November 2010

The first results from today's general election in the Cook Islands have been released.

Our correspondent in Rarotonga, Florence Syme Buchanan, says so far the Cook Islands Party, which had been in opposition, has six seats, compared with its main rival, the Democratic Party, which has four.

"The seat of Pukapuka has tied between the CIP and the Democrats candidate. The results of 12 seats are yet to be made public. Included among the victories for the Cook Islands Party is that of leader, Henry Puna, who stood in the northern island of Manihiki, but 35 advanced votes, which aren't included in the preliminary count tonight, could change that result. Some constituencies have expressed concern that their rolls could be inflated by the inclusion of people who are either deceased or who have left the island. Supporters of political parties and independents are gathered tonight at the headquarters of their preferred candidates awaiting the preliminary results."