29 Jul 2014

Nine petitions in Cooks elections

3:34 pm on 29 July 2014

Nine petitions have been lodged with the Cook Islands High Court challenging this month's election results.

The Cooks Islands Party won a majority with 13 seats, but the Democratic Party says bribery and invalid votes tarnished the results.

The Cook Islands Party has filed one petition for Murienua on Rarotonga.

The remaining eight are from the Democratic Party and include its leader Wilkie Rasmussen's Penrhyn electorate and the caretaker Prime Minister Henry Puna's seat in Manihiki.

The secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Tingika Elikana, says it's not clear how long the petitions will take to process.

"There will be a meeting convened tomorrow at 10am in front of the Chief Justice and he will be sitting down with counsels from both the petitioners and the respondent and they will look at a timeline and how best to deal with these petitions."

Tingika Elikana says Henry Puna will continue to lead the country while the petitions are dealt with.

Petitions have also been filed for Teenui-Mapumai and Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua on Atiu, and Akaoa, on Rarotonga.

Tamarua in Mangaia, Vaipae-Tautu on Aitutaki and Mitiaro have also been challenged.