×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 81

Print this page

2 more petitions dismissed

Wednesday September 17, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
Rose Toki Brown held on to the Teenui Mapumai seat despite a petition to overturn from Norman George Rose Toki Brown held on to the Teenui Mapumai seat despite a petition to overturn from Norman George

Two more petitions have been dismissed by the High Court, leaving the slim one-seat majority of the current Cook Islands Party-led caretaker government intact.

Chief Justice Thomas Weston read decisions issued by the courts for the petitions - filed for constituencies in Atiu and Aitutaki.
A petition filed by political veteran Norman George in Atiu’s constituency of Teenui-Mapumai, which included allegations of bribery, was dismissed “... for a lack of proof to the required standard...”
Details of George’s allegations included the offering of motorcycles and washing machines in return for votes.
In all, eight separate allegations of bribery, treating, and undue influence laid out earlier in court documents were dismissed in the decision, prepared by Justice Sir Hugh Williams.
George, the previous Democratic Party MP for Teenui-Mapuamai and a veteran politician with over 30 years of experience in local politics, was defeated on election night by Rose Toki Brown of the Cook Islands Party.
The allegations made by George received international coverage in the press, and were criticised by Prime Minister Henry Puna at the time as “sour grapes”.
Decisions on two more constituencies – including a result for Tamarua in Mangaia and the island of Mitiaro – are still to come.
Petition hearings for Mitiaro are scheduled to be heard by the Court during the week of September 22.
Yesterday’s developments bring the current CIP-led government one step closer to achieving full legislative powers in advance of a planned parliamentary sitting next month.