No change after Mauke recount

Thursday July 19, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Chief Justice Hugh Williams. 18071823 Chief Justice Hugh Williams. 18071823

There is no change in the result of the Mauke electorate following a recount of votes cast in the June 14 general election.

 

Conducted by Chief Justice Hugh Williams at the High Court yesterday, the recount resulted in the Cook Islands Party’s candidate Tai Tura maintaining 68 votes – one vote ahead of One Cook Islands party’s Tungane Williams, who applied for the recount.

However, Tura’s win is yet to be finalised because there has been a petition filed by Williams for the same seat, pending a decision in court.

The petition against chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua is regarding a disallowed vote in the electorate.

Following the recount yesterday morning, the call over of the electoral petitions demanding inquiries into the conduct of the election was held at the High Court after lunch.

Alongside the One Cook Islands party petition, four other petitions from the Democratic Party and one from the Cook Islands Party were disclosed yesterday.

Democratic Party leader Tina Browne, who lost the Rakahanga seat, filed a 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 the Democratic Party, filed a petition against chief electoral officer Tangimetua and the winner of the Pukapuka-Nassau seat, Tingika Elikana of the CIP.

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

The lone CIP petition came from Kaka Ama against the Democratic Party’s Tama Tuavera, who won the Ngatangiia seat.

During the call over before Justice Williams, tentative dates for the hearing of the petitions were set.

The tentative dates for hearings are August 10-13 for Rakahanga, August 14 for Pukapuka, August 15 for Ngatangiia, August 16 for Mauke, August 20-21 for Murienua and August 22 for Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston.

The Crown and the third parties involved in the petitions were given time until the end of next week to gather relevant information.

Justice Williams said he wanted to rule on the petitions without delay so that a government is decided as soon as possible.

Bribery, undue influence, treating and issues regarding voter qualification feature in the various allegations made by the six petitioners.

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