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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (June 16, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Fighting to stay in office is Cook Islands Party leader Sir Geoffrey Henry, who has been Prime Minister since 1989.

But, the Agence France-Presse news agency reports that if a random telephone poll of eligible voters by the daily Cook Islands News is anything to go by, support for the CIP has slumped in just over a month.

Instead, the news agency reported, support for the opposition Democratic Alliance Party is growing.

However, the poll also noted that 34 percent or those surveyed remain undecided about the Cook Islands leadership.

Voting begins Wednesday, June 16.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.


RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (June 15, 1999 - PACNEWS/CITV)---The Demo Alliance Party in the Cook Islands has refuted reports that it agreed to a wager with another party on the likely outcome of the results in this week's general election.

Demo Alliance Leader Dr. Terepai Maoate said the party had not made a bet with the Cook Islands Party.

Teina Bishop, a Cook Islands Party candidate for Arutanga Reureu Nikaupara, said on television last week that he would bet $NZ 10,000 ($US 5,338) that his party would win all three seats on Aitutaki.

Cook Islands Television reports Bishop's bet was reportedly followed-up by offers from the Demo Alliance Party to bet $NZ 15,000 (US$ 8,007) that it would win at the polls.

Dr. Maoate confirmed that offers had been made, but said his party would not put a wager on Aitutaki seats.

He said the party would be "showing off" if it decided to take on the bet.

Cook Islanders will got to the polls on June 16.

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