24 Dec 2014

Further appeal planned for Cooks Mitiaro seat

4:53 pm on 24 December 2014

The ruling Cook Islands Party is to appeal a High Court decision that resulted in the Mitiaro seat going to the Democratic Party.

In the election in July the vote was evenly split but the court rejected the legitimacy of one of the votes so Tangata Vavia was declared the winner by one vote.

The leader of the Cook Islands Party, prime minister Henry Puna, says the party is troubled by the High Court decision.

The Cook Islands News reports him saying the party wants some clarity and finality on the issue of medical referrals.

He says if the Cook Islands Party's appeal is successful, then the finalising of the Mitiaro election should be immediate as it would trigger the counting of the recent by-election votes which remain under seal and safe security.

However when giving his judgment Justice Hugh Williams had ordered the Mitiaro by-election votes be destroyed, making a recount impossible.

Mitiaro Island, Cook Islands

Mitiaro Island, Cook Islands Photo: Free google search image