4 Jun 2018

Voting starts in 2018 Cook Islands general election

12:44 pm on 4 June 2018

The voting for the 2018 Cook Islands general election has started in the northern group island of Palmerston.

Cook Islands news reports voters on Palmerston went to the polls on Saturday, and voters on Nassau will cast their votes tomorrow, ahead of the general election on June 14.

Palmerston is part of Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston (RAPPA) constituency while Nassau belongs to the Pukapuka-Nassau constituency.

For RAPPA, current Cook Islands Party MP and internal affairs minister Albert Nicholas is up against Democratic Party's Teina Rongo.

For Pukapuka-Nassau, former Justice secretary Tingika Elikana is contesting under the Cook Islands Party banner, while Willie Katoa is standing for the Democratic Party.

The ballot boxes left Rarotonga with election officers last week.

"After the voting on Nassau, the election officers will take the ballot boxes and head to Pukapuka where the Nassau ballot box will be opened and counted together with the votes from Pukapuka on June 14," according to Chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua.

"The votes from Palmerston ballot box won't be counted and will be included in the final count as soon as it gets here," she said.

All the ballot boxes from the northern group islands are expected to arrive in Rarotonga by June 21, for the final count.

However the preliminary results on each constituency in the northern group will be released on the night of the elections.