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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 27) – The winner of the biggest electorate in the Cook Islands, Democratic Party candidate Pastor John Tangi, is celebrating a historic win.

His party swept to a win after the preliminary results showed the Democrats with 14 seats and the Cook Islands Party (CIP) – which lost three seats - with 10.

The Tupapa-Maraerenga seat has been a stronghold for the CIP since 1965, but last night, it changed hands for the first time.

Tangi, who won by 56 votes, says he’s pleased it’s all over.

"It has been an exciting campaign, very tiring, and there was a lot of mileage to cover because Tupapa-Maraerenga is the largest constituency more than one thousand voters, and yes it has been exciting."

The caretaker Prime Minister Jim Marurai, who’s due back on the main island Rarotonga today, won his seat in Mangaia as [did] the leader of the Democratic Party Dr Terepai Maoate.

September 28, 2006

Radio New Zealand International:

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