Democratic Party files four out of six petitions

Saturday July 07, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

Six petitions were filed with the Registrar of High Court, Claudine Henry-Anguna before the Thursday deadline.

Out of the six, four were from the Democratic Party and one each from the Cook Islands Party (CIP) and the One Cook Islands party.

Democratic Party leader Tina Browne, who lost the Rakahanga seat, filed the petition against the winner, Toka Hagai of CIP.

Democratic Party candidate James Beer, who lost his Murienua seat, filed a petition against the winner Patrick Arioka of CIP while Willie Katoa, also of Demos, filed a petition against the winner of Pukapuka-Nassau seat Tingika Elikana (CIP) and the chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua.

The other Demo petition came from Teina Rongo, who made the application against CIP’s Albert Nicholas for the Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston seat.

The CIP’s Kaka Ama filed a petition against Democratic Party’s Tama Tuavera, who won the Ngatangiia seat, and against the chief electoral officer.

One Cook Islands’ Tungane Williams, who lost the Mauke seat to CIP’s Tai Tura by just a vote, filed the petition against the winner of the seat, the chief electoral officer and the returning officer. Williams also applied for a recount.   

A petition challenging the validity of an election can be lodged by a candidate or five electors of the constituency in which they are registered.

According to a report from the Electoral Office, petitions must allege the specific grounds on which the complaint is founded. It should set out the specific outcome being requested by the petitioner.

The petition must also be accompanied by a filing fee of $1000 and security for costs of not less than $5000.

Nine electoral petitions were filed with the High Court in the 2014 election, five more than in the 2010 elections.

The petitions in 2014 mainly concerned voter qualification, bribery, treating and influencing.

Parliament will not meet until all election petitions filed in the High Court have been finally determined or have been withdrawn or dismissed for want of prosecution.

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