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Demo spokesman loses out

Friday June 15, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
James Beer pictured at the Rutaki electoral office early yesterday afternoon. James Beer pictured at the Rutaki electoral office early yesterday afternoon.

Another surprise loser in yesterday’s general election was Murienua MP and Democratic Party economic spokesman, James Beer.


Beer, who led the way in efforts to explain party policy on various issues, lost to the CIP’s Patrick Arioka, 203 votes to 133. One Cook Islands candidate Teariki Taraare Unuka won just 64 votes.

CINews was unable to contact Beer last night, but earlier in the day, when he met a photographer at the Rutaki polling station, he pointed to problems with the electoral roll, saying that he had already seen on the Demo Party’s runners’ lists about 20 voters who had made declaratory votes.

“So many voters registered can’t find their names on either the main roll or the supplementary. The Act requires that the Chief Electoral Officer keep an updated roll, but like all other elections all that work is left to different party committees to do this. Which raises concerns about how easily corrupted the roll can become.

Beer said that in Murienua there were two different people who had their names on the roll five times.

“Someone has registered them previously-once in 2014 and twice in 2018 under different first names. (Finding out) whether they voted three times will be difficult.”

Also on the losing end was Demo Party leader Tina Browne, who earlier in the day texted from Rakahanga that she was “quietly confident,” but only had preliminary results and a few postals and votes by declaration to be counted back in Raro.

“Happy with my campaign but not so with my opponents. Relaxing today. Almost all have voted, just five or six remaining,” she said.

However the voters had the last word, with Browne taking a back seat to CIP candidate Toka Hagai, albeit by just 28 votes to 20.

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