Death of Cook Islands candiate shocks Democrats
The President of the Cook Islands Democratic Party says the death of Kete Ioane, its candidate for an upcoming by-election, has left Aitutaki shocked.
The President of the Cook Islands Democratic Party says the death of its candidate for an upcoming by-election on Aitutaki has left the community, and party, shocked.
Kete Ioane -- who the opposition hoped would gain it an extra seat so it could form a coalition government -- died in New Zealand on Friday, five days before the scheduled by-election.
Mr Ioane was transferred to New Zealand for treatment after he was hospitalised on Rarotonga after he aggravated an old leg injury.
The Democrats President, Sean Willis, told Jamie Tahana the party has stopped all campaigning and gone to support Mr Ioane's family.
SEAN WILLIS: Well unfortunately for us Mr Ioane was a sure winner, and what we have done as a Democratic Party, is we've ceased all political campaigning and everything and we've gone to support the family and we've gone up to Aitutaki and we've had the family service and we've told everyone 'no politics'. The grieving of the family is more important than politics.
JAMIE TAHANA: This was sudden. How are his colleagues and family on Aitutaki doing?
SW: The family and everybody in the society and us Democratic Party supporters are shocked. When he had his operation he was well and up and then two days later things turned for the worse, so we're shocked but like I have said it's a matter of giving support to the family and moving on and sorting out -- as is normal Cook Islands custom -- the burial procedures and everything else. Papa Kete was a community man and we're going to support the family and honour him and what he's done for the people. He was one of the few MPs that stood for Aitutaki that put something in place. He had the roads tar sealed, he did a lot of things and unfortunately for us he was working on the water project when we lost government, but he was still promoting that on his passing, and he is one of the very few people who have stood for Aitutaki that has actually done something. How do I put it? All the rest were steam cleaners. When they talked there was a lot of steam but no action.
JT: Of course things must move on so when it comes time to look at the by-election again what kind of process will the Democrats go through?
SW: Well, when it comes again to the time to select the candidate, that's up to the constituency of Vaipae-Tautu, which Vaipae, Tautu, and Vaipeka, and they select the candidate who they consider to be the best person and then we go back to the polls. That's democracy.
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