5 May 2004

Cook Islands Democratic party takes contested constituency to caucus

3:28 pm on 5 May 2004

The Cook Islands Democratic party is to take the question of a contested candidacy to its caucus despite the results of a run-off election.

The party president, Iaveta Short, says the central committee is satisfied that challenger, Eugene Tatuava, was clearly the winner of the run-off poll against incumbent MP, Norman George.

He says it would have endorsed Mr Tatuava but the caucus is demanding that it gets to review the issue.

"Quite obviously, it appears to me that caucus does want to support the incumbent but it's then the matter of the policy of the party. Some caucus members were talking about a policy that the party should respect the position of sitting members and should not be challenged."

Mr Short says if caucus can't decide, then the party conference, which is being held tomorrow will.

He says there are also two other contested constituencies that the party needs to work through.