10 Aug 2017

Cook Islands by-election scheduled for next week

9:49 am on 10 August 2017

A political newcomer will be elected in the Cook Islands next week when two candidates contest the Ivirua by-election on 17 August.

Cook Islands flag

Photo: RNZ/ Tim Glasgow

Businessman Tony Armstrong is standing for the Democrats against the Cook Islands Party's Orauamai Harry in one of the Cook's smallest constituencies.

Just 80 voters are registered in Ivirua.

The chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua says only $US10,000 has been budgeted for the by-election but he says it's likely not all of that will be spent.

Mr Tangimetua says each candidate has paid the Electoral Office a $US350 deposit, which will be refunded to the winner.

He said the unsuccessful candidate will have to achieve 25 percent of the total votes gained by the winner to get his deposit back.

The retirement of long-serving politician and former prime minister Jim Marurai for health reasons triggered the by-election for the Cook's 24 seat parliament.