11 Aug 2014

Cooks Demos withdraw one petition

1:43 pm on 11 August 2014

The Cook Islands Democratic Party has withdrawn one of its eight petitions challenging the July election results which gave the Cook Islands Party 13 seats in the 24-member parliament.

However, the Democratic Party filed eight petitions with the High Court, saying bribery and ineligible votes cost it the election.

Daniela Maoate-Cox reports:

"A Democratic Party candidate Nooroa Baker has withdrawn his petition for the Akaoa seat on Rarotonga, saying he cannot guarantee anonymity for his witnesses. Mr Baker's petition alleged undue influence and ineligible votes swung the electorate in favour of the Cook Islands Party member Teariki Heather. In a statement, Mr Baker said his claims would have required some electors to appear in open court and this would have had a negative effect on their families. The hearings are due to start in September."