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Mitiaro by-election to be held within 2 months

Wednesday September 24, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
Mitiaro by-election to be held within 2 months

A by-election will be held on the island of Mitiaro in November, says the official in charge of elections in the Cook Islands.

Yesterday, Chief Electoral Officer Taggy Tangimetua received notice from Chief Justice Thomas Weston of the High Court to begin preparations for a by-election to be held on the island.
Tangimetua said a date has not been set, but she will be consulting with the Ministry of Justice and the political parties on possible dates. She added she expects to make an announcement on the matter this week.
According to a court document, the by-election must occur before November 18.
The by-election announcement follows an election night tie between Tuakeu Tangatapoto of the Cook Islands Party and the island’s previous Member of Parliament, Tangata Vavia. That result was re-affirmed after the conclusion of a recount.
Last week, lawyer Tina Browne withdrew a petition filed by Vavia, prompting Weston to toss out a counter-petition filed by Tangatapoto, paving the way for the by-election.
To date, Vavia has indicated his intent to run for the Demos in the by-election. It is not known if Tangatapoto will run again on behalf of the CIP.
With Mitiaro’s by-election likely to be held in November, it appears an expected session of Parliament next month will only be featuring 23 of 24 MP’s.
The current status of the House has the CIP holding on to one-seat majority.
The Demos are next with eight seats, followed by two seats for One Cook Islands.
The High Court is expected to release a decision for the final outstanding petition, which concerns the constituency of Tamarua in Mangaia, at some point this week. - Emmanuel Samoglou

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