17 Sep 2004

Cook Islands opposition focuses on organising petitions

3:22 pm on 17 September 2004

The leader of the Cook Islands opposition, Sir Geoffrey Henry, says his party is focussing on organising petitions for seats decided by close margins in last week's general election.

The make-up of the new government is still unclear ten days after the election.

While the ruling Democratic Party looks to have a majority in the 24-seat house, petitions by the Cook Islands Party to overturn results in various seats could alter the balance of power.

Sir Geoffrey says his party has until Monday to decide in which seats to launch petitions.

And he says despite only winning one seat, independent candidates have made an impact on these elections.

"It would be foolish of any politician of today to completely discount the impact that the independents have made. In most cases the results has been probably that this is the one election we've had when there were so many seats that were won by very small margins. And I've not seen this happen in the Cook Islands before, and it's possible that this is attributable to the impact of the independent candidates."

Sir Geoffrey Henry