23 Jul 2014

Petitions too expensive for Cooks Demos

1:04 pm on 23 July 2014

The Cook Islands Party says it doubts the rival Democratic Party can afford to challenge the election results.

A final count shows the Cook Islands Party has won a majority, but the Democratic Party alleges that bribery affected the outcome and deprived it of a victory.

It says it will challenge some of the results with money from fundraisers and candidates' own resources to pay for it.

But the caretaker finance minister of the Cook Islands Party, Mark Brown, says that won't be enough.

"A charter flight to the Northern Group islands costs $20,000 [NZD] for one flight now we'd like the Democratic Party to come out clearly and explain to our people who is actually funding these petitions that they're going to be lodging because these costs could easily exceed over $100,000 [NZD] and I find it hard to believe that selling plates of food would raise over $100,000 [NZD]."

The Cook Islands Party's Mark Brown.