6 Jul 2012

Losing by-election candidate wants Cooks Electoral Act amended

5:15 pm on 6 July 2012

A losing candidate who is challenging a Cook Islands' by-election result won by his sister says there needs to be an amendment to the Electoral Act to minimise costly petitions.

Selina Napa of the Democratic Party won the Titikaveka by-election by just 14 votes ahead of her brother Teariki Matenga, who stood for the ruling Cook Islands Party.

Mr Matenga this week filed a petition with the court, challenging the eligibility of 20 voters and accusing the Democratic Party of treating.

He says a better system is needed to stamp out corrupt practices so parties can come out clean at the end of elections, eliminating expensive court cases.

"When you're looking at in excess of one hundred thousand dollars per election per party this figure's phenomenal and the consequences are that each party will have to go out and fundraise in order to pay for these costs and the victims at the end of the day are the poor voters down the road."

Teariki Matenga says he's hoping his court case will give the government the impetus to amend the Electoral Act.