22 Nov 2014

Cook Islands Court allows appeal

4:42 pm on 22 November 2014

The Cook Islands Court of Appeal has this afternoon allowed an appeal on an election petition in the constituency of Mitiaro.

It has ruled that the petition hearing had not been completed and a counter petition is yet to be heard.

In the original poll in Mitiaro both candidates, the Cook Islands Party's Tuakeu Tangatapoto and the incumbent, Tangata Vavia, of the Democratic Party, had got an equal number of votes.

A by election was held nearly two weeks ago but the votes had not been counted because the Appeal Court ruling was pending.

The Appeal Court has ruled today that the High Court must consider both the petition and counter petition.

If the appeal had been denied and the by-election result went in Mr Vavia's favour, it had the potential to create a hung parliament.

Appeals against the judgements in four other election petitions, for the seats of Penrhyn, Manihiki, Tengitangi-Areora-Ngatiaru, and Teenui-Mapumai, have been dismissed.

The appeal against the judgement brought by Kete Ioane against Mona Ioane in the Vaipae-Tautu seat, has been reserved.