20 Sep 2014

Cooks Democrats withdraw another petition

5:33 am on 20 September 2014

The Cook Islands Democratic Party has withdrawn a petition against a tied seat in Mitiaro, which means the constituency will go to a by-election.

Of the nine petitions lodged against the ruling Cook Islands Party after July's election, three have been withdrawn, five have been dismissed and one is pending.

The Mitiaro constituency was tied between the Democrat's Tangata Vavia, and the Cook Islands Party's Tuakeu Tangatapoto, who both got 50 votes.

The Democratic Party leader, Wilkie Rasmussen, says the petition argued some voters were away from their constituency during the election because of medical reasons, but that argument isn't standing up in court.

"We re-looked at what we have, and if we continue the likelihood that the application could be struck down on that basis, we thought we're entitled to look for a different outcome. And that's why we withdrew."

Mr Rasmussen says a by-election will have a positive outcome for the Democrats.

He says the by-election date will be called within the next two months.