FINAL COUNT IN PUKAPUKA-NASSAU, COOK ISLANDS BY-ELECTION STILL DELAYED

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (November 1, 2000 – Radio Australia)---A final count of the Pukapuka-Nassau by-election in the northern Cook Islands looks no closer a month after more than 400 northern islanders cast their votes.

The hold-up is the failure of lawyers representing the two contending political parties and the Electoral Office to reach an agreement on how nine objections should be handled.

The chief electoral officer said the attempt to get the three legal representatives to reach a consensus is an effort by the Electoral Office to "avoid unnecessary costs."

The actions of the Electoral Office are being questioned with citizens saying the final result should be known by now.

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

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