1 Dec 2004

Cook Islands Democratic party concerned about lengthy electoral petitions

1:45 pm on 1 December 2004

A lawyer representing the Cook Islands Democratic party says they are concerned about the length of time it is taking to resolve the electoral petitions.

Charles Little says the country has faced a period of uncertainty following the elections and parliament cannot sit until all electoral challenges are determined.

He says it's good news that the Appeal Court has made a ruling on one petition, which is expected to be made public tomorrow, but that is still not the end of the matter.

"The process from here is that once that Court of Appeal decision's given, we all know where we stand and then a judge will return from New Zealand to hear the balance of the petitions. Now, depending on the decision in the Appeal case, it will determine the length of the balance of the hearings of the petition."

Mr Little says the Democratic party would like to see the High court sit as quickly as possible to end the impasse and meet the deadline for parliament to sit.

The constitution requires parliament to meet within 90 days of the election, which is December 7th, although there is a clause which states that all electoral petitions must be resolved first.