10 Sep 2004

Final result in Cooks poll expected next week

7:28 am on 10 September 2004

Final counts in the Cook Islands general election are expected to be completed by ther middle of next week.

The chief registrar of electors, Terry Hagan, says the southern group and Rarotonga should be finished by the end of the weekend.

And, some of the islands in the northern group which are without air services, by the middle of next week.

"We have the police patrol boat, Te Tukopa, under charter to the electoral office and that took all the electoral materials, together with staff to the northern group. On the return journey, it was calling into the island of Rakahanga to collect the ballot boxes there, and it's next stop will be the island of Pukapuka."

The chief registrar of electors, Terry Hagan, says this is the highest number of special votes experienced in an election and with the narrow margins, they are likely to determine who wins which seat.

In ten out of the 24 seats, there are fewer than 20 votes separating the leading candidates.