21 Aug 2019

Cook Islands by-election process depends on appeal

11:26 am on 21 August 2019

The Cook Islands Electoral Office has less than three months to call a by-election for the vacant Atiu seat.

But it depends on whether there is an appeal of a petition ruling on the Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua by-election, two weeks ago.

According to the Cook Islands News, the Chief Justice dismissed the petition filed by the losing candidate, Nandi Glassie of the Democratic Party.

Mr Glassie had disputed the election win of independent candidate Te-Hani Brown on the grounds of alleged bribery.

However, Ms Brown resigned from her seat when the petition was filed.

Chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua said if no appeal is filed, the seat will be declared vacant and the by-election process commences.

The Democratic Party has 20 working days from the day of judgement - which was last Wednesday - to file the petition appeal.

Party leader Tina Browne said they were still weighing up their options.