18 Dec 2018

No decision yet on Cooks vacant Rakahanga seat

1:43 pm on 18 December 2018

The Cook Islands chief electoral officer, Taggy Tangimetua, says she is seeking legal advice on what happens now after a Court of Appeal voided last June's election in the Rakahanga electorate.

Rakahanga MP Toka Hagai.

Toka Hagai Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

MP Toka Hagai, a member of the governing Cook Islands Party, was deemed to have treated prospective voters to alcohol and food.

The court declared the Rakahanga result void and said, in accordance with the Electoral Act, it had requested the registrar forward the decision to police for investigation.

The electoral petition was brought by Democratic Party leader Tina Browne but it remains unclear whether she now assumes the seat.

Ms Tangimetua said the court also directed that those voters who have been deemed to receive benefits from Mr Hagai would be struck off the roll and she is waiting on legal advice as to how to proceed.