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By Moana Moeka‘a

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (June 10, 2000 - Cook Islands News)---The government has turned down two applications for the position of chief electoral officer and has instead appointed a deputy to manage the coming second Pukupuka-Nassau by-election.

The second by-election will be held almost a year to the day of the last one, in September 29 1999. In announcing September 28 as the date for the by-election, Prime Minister Dr. Terepai Maoate yesterday revealed that government had received applications for the chief electoral officer post but opted for Court Registrar Nooapii ‘Nono’ Tearea instead.

"Cabinet has approved ‘Nono’ Tearea as the deputy chief electoral officer and this has been endorsed by the executive council this morning. We had two applicants (for CEO) but it was too obvious that they were too close to government, so we decided instead to appoint Nono," Maoate yesterday said.

He says Tearea will be assisted by a former head of Inland Revenue, Jim Ditchburn, who has been approached to act in a consultative position.

While the announcement of the second by-election date is long over due, Opposition and Cook Islands Party leader Sir Geoffrey Henry has pointed out that the current announcement in a way vindicates his party’s efforts over the past months towards that end.


As to a question put to the Prime Minister regarding campaigning in Pukapuka and Nassau while visiting the islands next week, Dr. Maoate joked that they were at a disadvantage because "(Cook Islands Party candidate) Papa Inatio (Akaruru) is already there."

It is understood that Tiaki Wuatai will stand as the Democratic Alliance Party candidate in the upcoming by-election.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

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