4 Oct 2013

Cooks opposition challenging by-election loss

4:15 pm on 4 October 2013

The opposition Democratic Party in the Cook Islands has begun legal action, contesting the outcome of last month's by-election in Murienua, claiming there is overwhelming evidence of corruption.

It has filed a court petition alleging that the successful candidate Kaota Tuariki of the ruling Cook Islands Party was guilty of bribery and corruptly influencing voters.

The Democrats candidate James Beer lost the poll by just 25 votes.

The court documents show Mr Beer is alleging Mr Tuariki gave an identified voter 50 dollars to ensure his vote.

It also claims that he advertised on radio offering free massages.

Mr Beer also alleges the new MP provided free food and free transport on election day.