The Atiu-based electorate is without a representative in Parliament following Te-Hani Brown’s resignation on Wednesday. Brown, who won the seat under the Democratic Party banner in the 2018 general election, last month decided to defect to the Cook Islands Party led coalition government to give them a majority.
In a public notice, chief electoral officer Tangimetua called for the nominations of candidates who wished to contest in the by-election.
She said nominations of candidates would close on Monday, February 25, at noon.
“Each and every such nomination, together with the sum of $500, shall be lodged with the chief electoral officer on Rarotonga, or the deputy registrar on the island of Atiu,” Tangimetua said.
The main roll shall close on February 14 at 4pm and objections to names on the main roll shall close on February 21 at 4pm, she said.
Tangimetua also said the close of supplementary roll had been extended to close on February 28 at 4pm and objections to names on the supplementary roll closes on March 7 at 4pm.
Brown, who was the youngest MP in the history of Cook Islands Parliament, said she would re-contest for her seat as an independent candidate.
Her mum Rose Brown, who is the Health minister, is an independent MP, representing the neighbouring constituency of Teenui-Mapumai.
“I believe that I am doing the right thing in handing the seat back to the people who voted me in – who also supported and influenced this decision – allowing them the right to reinstate me as an independent member that can continue to be their voice in Parliament,” Te-Hani earlier said.
“I look forward to continuing my work as an MP so that I can continue helping our people of Enuamanu (Atiu), and support the government with the completion of our projects.”
Former Health minister with the CIP government Nandi Glassie is expected to contest the by-election under the banner of the newly-formed Cook Islands Unity Party (CIUP).
He lost the 2018 general election to Te-Hani and subsequently left CIP to form CIUP.
The Democratic Party will also field a candidate in a bid to retain the seat.
However the CIP is not expected to field any candidate in a bid to support Te-Hani winning the seat again.