30 Mar 2011

Cook Islands speaker expected to call Pukapuka by-election

2:22 pm on 30 March 2011

The Cook Islands speaker, Sir Geoffrey Henry, is expected to declare the Pukapuka seat vacant to clear the way for a by-election.

This follows a court ruling, which found that the candidate of the ruling Cook Islands Party, Tekii Lazaro, had committed bribery in the lead-up to his victory last November.

The prime minister, Henry Puna, says there is no truth to allegations by the opposition Democratic Party that the government is trying to delay the by-election.

Mr Puna says part of the delay has been due to the wait for the release of the detailed high court judgement.

He says his party has no interest in pursing an appeal.