Ruling on two petitions expected soon

Wednesday August 15, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
CIP's Tingika Elikana. 18081411 CIP's Tingika Elikana. 18081411

Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams is expected to make his ruling on two of the six general election petition cases by later this week.


Justice Williams yesterday concluded three petition hearings, beginning with the Rakahanga petition on Friday last week, followed by the Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmertson and Ngatangiia petitions yesterday.

A decision on the Rakahanga petition is expected to take some time but judgement on the other two is expected soon.

The Rakahanga petition was filed by Democratic Party leader Tina Browne, who lost the seat to the Cook Islands Party’s Toka Hagai in the June 14 election.

The Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmertson petition was filed by the Democratic Party’s Teina Rongo, while CIP’s Kaka Ama lodged the Ngatangiia petition. All the petitions are alleging bribery.

The remaining three petitions for the Murienua, Mauke and Pukapuka-Nassau constituencies will be heard before Justice Judith Potter, starting on Monday next week.

Meanwhile, the recount of votes for the Pukapuka-Nassau constituency, which took place on Monday in the High Court, saw CIP’s Tingika Elikana retain the seat.

After the recount, Elikana managed 145 votes while the Democratic Party’s Willie Katoa had 129.

Elikana had 126 votes and Katoa 121 after the preliminary count on the night of the election. After the final count, Elikana had 143 to Katoa’s 130.

Katoa filed a petition against Elikana and the chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua alleging that some electors were not qualified to vote, adding that the Electoral Office erred in permitting their votes to be cast and counted.

Following the recount, Justice Williams gave the petitioners time to reconsider whether or not they wanted to proceed with the hearing scheduled for Tuesday or Wednesday next week. 

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