26 Feb 2015

New Aitutaki by-election candidate by March 6th

1:46 pm on 26 February 2015

The president of the Cook Islands Democratic Party says a new candidate for the rescheduled by-election on Aitutaki is expected to be announced by the end of next week.

Cook Islands Parliament

Cook Islands Parliament Photo: Supplied

Following the sudden death of the Democratic Party's candidate, Kete Ioane, the by-election for the Vaipae-Tautu constituency has been moved to take place on March 31st.

The party's president, Sean Willis, says the constituency is expected to select a new candidate, and forward a name through to the central party for confirmation, by March 6th.

He says he can't reveal any names, but it will be difficult for whoever is chosen to replace Kete Ioane.

"He was very well liked and has a high support from within the community and going into the by-elections we were confident that we would win that. But now we've had to move on and replacing him with someone new is very hard on such short notice."

Sean Willis says the by-election now favours the government as it has just delivered new machinery to Aitutaki, which could sway some votes.

A successful outcome for the Democrats in the by-election could lead to them assuming power in a coalition government.