Those who want to cast a vote in the July 9 general elections are being advised by the Chief Electoral Office that the supplementary roll closes tomorrow. Any objections are due on May 14. Additionally, Chief Electoral Officer Taggy Tangimetua said her office is currently in the process of finalising the official list of candidates who will be running, which will also be published in CI News tomorrow.
There has been a decrease in the total number of candidates running in the 2014 election compared to the previous general election. A total of 52 candidates have filed nominations papers this time round, compared to 70 in 2010.
There will be one uncontested seat in this election – incumbent Member of Parliament Jim Marurai will be the sole name on the ballot for voters in the constituency of Ivirua in Mangaia.
Independent candidate for Ngatangi’ia Teina Mackenzie – the first candidate to declare her intention to run - has been busy on the campaign trail since making the announcement. Recently, she was invited at a luncheon organised by social group 60-Plus. At the event, Mackenzie said she spoke on her decision to run and her hope that others are encouraged to enter politics. “We need more choices when going to the polls,” she says. “There is so much apathy with the direction of governance right now – we need to get more of our people involved in issues of importance so we can truly say that a decision was made for the people and also by the people.” Mackenzie said she was privileged to have been asked to speak at the 60-Plus luncheon, where she says many of the group’s members sit at the same public meetings that she attends. “The group keeps informed and involved, and has a wealth of knowledge amongst themselves that is valuable for us younger mapu,” she said. “I’ll always seek their counsel on matters of importance.”
The Democratic Party held a get-together for members and supporters on Monday evening. Atiu Member of Parliament Norman George said there was a “huge” turnout of at least 120 people. At the event, Party leader Wilkie Rasmussen announced the Demo roster of candidates and touched on policy. George said “Everything is going well” with preparations. “I’m delighted with the way the Democratic Party is progressing,” he said. “It’s amazing how the demo party has been able to get their program going in such a short time.
The Cook Islands News wants to help inform voters about who is standing for Parliament and what they stand for. However, there is a limit to the amount of free space that the newspaper is prepared to provide. Our policy therefore, will be to provide up to 500 words and space for a headshot photograph for all candidates who have been formally nominated and who have paid their required $500 fee to the Chief Electoral Officer. The wording, timing and placement of any of these statements in the newspaper will be at the editor’s discretion, but all will be published on the Cook Islands News website as part of our overall election coverage package. We will also publish further election detail that we consider is news. There will be no limit to the amount of paid promotion that candidates or parties want to do, but all election advertising will be on a cash upfront basis.