21 Jul 2018

Cook Islands election petition process could take weeks

4:39 pm on 21 July 2018

It could still be weeks before the final outcome of the Cook Islands election is finally known.

It's been a month since Cook Islanders went to the polls, and two weeks since the final vote tally was released.

But several candidates have filed petitions with the High Court, all of which will have to be heard individually.

RNZ Pacific's correspondent on Rarotonga, Florence Syme-Buchanan, said the administrative process for these has only just been worked out, and it could take several weeks for each to be heard.

"The outcome of the petitions could change things enormously, but when that outcome could be available - like when the petitions will be heard, how long each petition will take - is anyone's guess, because some could take just a couple of cases, but others could take some time," she said.

"You know, calling witnesses, affidavits, that sort of carry on."

Ms Syme-Buchanan said a caretaker government is allowed to remain in place for up to three months.