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OCI and CIP contest Aitutaki by-election

Saturday September 03, 2016 Written by Published in Politics

TWO CANDIDATES have been nominated to contest in Aitutaki’s Arutanga-Reureu-Nikaupara by-election scheduled for next month.

 

This was confirmed yesterday by Chief Electoral Officer Taggy Tangimetua.

Tangimetua said the nominated candidates are One Cook Islands Movement’s Pumati Isaraela and the Cook Islands Party’s Tereapii Maki.

The main roll closed on August 22 and closure of objections to the names was on August 29.

The Arutanga-Reureu-Nikaipara seat was previously held by former opposition leader and One Cook Islands leader Teina Bishop.

Bishop, who is no longer a Member of Parliament, was forced to exit his political career after being convicted of corruption as Minister of the Crown and sentenced to two years and four months’ jail in a case that is still before the Cook Islands High Court.

The candidate’s nominations closed on Thursday of this week.

The supplementary rolls will close on Monday, September 5 and the lodging of objections to names on the supplementary roll will close on September 12. Bishop is scheduled to appear in the High Court again in November.

Tangimetua said ordinary votes for the election could be made at the Reureu Community Hall in, Aitutaki on Thursday October 13 between 9am and 6pm.

Provisions had been made to allow for voting in advance and the issuing of postal votes at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (Statistics Office MFEM, Avarua, Rarotonga) every working day starting from September 7, between 9am to 1pm.

The by-election is being held in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2014.

Meanwhile, One Cook Islands party president George Turia said he could not comment on Pumati Isaraela’s selection as a candidate. He said a media statement giving more information would be issued early next week.

The Democratic Party did not field a candidate and phone calls to party leader William Heather remained unanswered when CI News went to print yesterday.