19 Oct 2004

Cooks Manihiki election outcome goes to appeal court

6:02 pm on 19 October 2004

The Cook Islands electoral petition challenging the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton's win in Manihiki, has been referred to the Appeal Court.

Democratic party lawyer, Charles Little, says a new argument was raised that the constitution allows the court to look at more than just whether the voter was present or absent in the country.

He says the opposing lawyer argued that the court has jurisdiction to investigate whether the voter is eligible in that constituency.

"Mr Arnold is looking to open the jurisdiction of the court further so that they can actually look at individual voters to see if they were eligible because, as you're aware, the margin in Manihiki was very close, and if it transpires that voters weren't eligible to vote in that constituency, it could well change the outcome in that constituency."

Mr Little says a petition on Titikaveka has also been referred to the Appeal Court which is expected to sit on November the 9th.