19 Oct 2004

Two Cook Islands petitions referred to the Court of Appeal

2:26 pm on 19 October 2004

The decisions on two electoral petitions in the Cook Islands have been deferred and the cases sent to the Court of Appeal.

Democratic party lawyer, Charles Little, says it's now likely that the outcomes for the two constituencies of Titikaveka and Manihiki, won't be known for a month.

The Manihiki constituency is where the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, is being challenged.

Mr Little says it was argued in the High Court that the court should be looking at not just the eligibility of the voter on the basis of whether they were absent or present in the country.


IN: The argument was raised that the court has jurisdiction pursuant to article 27 of the Cook Islands constitution, that the court can also look at eligibility at the basis of absence or presence within a constituency.

DUR: 14

Mr Little says the cases are expected to be heard in the Appeal Court on November 9th and when the point of law is determined, they will be sent back to the high court which will determine the outcomes of the petitions.