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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 21)—The Cook Islands Prime Minister Jim Marurai says they’re not conceding defeat even though he does admit the Opposition Cook Islands Party does have the upper hand at this stage.

His comments follow the by election result in Matavera won by the CIP candidate Kiriau Turepu over the Democratic Alliance Candidate, Vaine Teokotai by 49 votes with only 31 special votes still to be counted.

This result would leave the CIP with 13 seats while the government has 11, but Mr Marurai disputes this saying it is tied at 12 all, though CIP still hold the winning hand for obvious reasons.

"Well the speaker has the casting vote so with that they can outnumber the government," said Marurai.

The speaker of the House is Independent candidate Norman George who has sworn allegiance to the Cook Islands Party.

July 24, 2006

Radio New Zealand International:

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