27 Sep 2013

Defeated Cooks candidate claims election corruption

1:11 pm on 27 September 2013

The defeated candidate of the Democratic Party in a Cook Islands by-election says corruption skewed the final results in his opponent's favour.

James Beer says the rules were broken blatantly and obviously in last week's poll for the Murienua seat.

Mr Beer says allegations of electoral fraud were brought to his attention, including claims of campaigning past the legal deadline, bribing and treating, and alleged campaigning by Queen's Representative Tom Marsters on behalf of his rival, KaotaTuariki.

He says to allow this corruption at the front door to democracy go unpunished would be setting a dangerous precedent.

Mr Beer also says if an election is going to be devoid of any rules then why should one bother to have elections