24 Oct 2006

Cooks petition to be heard over the next three weeks

3:29 pm on 24 October 2006

The electoral office in the Cook Islands says the electoral petitions submitted after last month's general election will be heard over the next three weeks.

Six petitions were submitted, one from the Democratic Party who won 14 of the 24 seats, with five petitions from the Cook Islands Party who picked up eight, one from an independent candidate, and a tied seat.

Three New Zealand judges will preside over the petitions, with the first tomorrow on the tied seat in Akaoa.

The Avatiu petition, the only one submitted by the Democratic Party, will be heard tomorrow with Matavera on Friday.

Titikaveka, Aitutaki and Mauke will be heard next week, with the Manihiki seat a week later in the northern group island.

However, the Chief registrar of electors, Terry Hagan says the judges will release their findings as soon as possible, with the first as early as this week.