admin's picture

Polls open November 17

By Helen Greig RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Oct. 16, 2010) - A record 70 candidates will vie for the 24 seats in parliament at next month’s 2010 general election.

The governing Democratic Party has put up 23 candidates while the Cook Islands Party has a full line-up.

In what looks to be a first, 16 independent candidates will contest 12 of the electorates.

Nominations for candidates closed at 12 noon yesterday.

The candidate line-up for the 2010 elections is in contrast to the 2006 snap election when 50 candidates ran – just four of them independents – the rest from the main parties.

This election, new political movement Te Kura O Te Au is putting up six candidates against the two parties.

The huge number of candidates at this election could pose a real challenge to the two-party race which has dominated the 12 elections held since 1965.

Some of the surprises on the candidate list are Avatiu’s Te Kura O Te Au candidate Mike Tavioni, Mangaia’s Oneroa independent Junior Areai and Ruaau independent Ngamau Tou.

The most highly contested seat will be Murienua, held until now by CIP parliamentary leader Tom Marsters. He will face off against the two independents, Angeline Tuara and Teariki Unuka, Te Kura O Te Au’s Tim Tepaki and the Demo’s man James Beer.

Tupapa-Maraerenga, Avatiu, and Aitutaki’s Vaipae-Tautu all have four candidates running for the seat, two of which are independents challenging the main party candidates.

Deputy leader of the Demos, Penryhn MP Wilkie Rasmussen ran unopposed last election, but this time round he will face off against his former (ministerial office) CEO – independent Willie John – as well as CIP candidate Tini Ford.

In Aitutaki’s Amuri-Ureia, Demo MP Terepai Maoate Jnr will also face off against three candidates – CIP’s Toanui Isamaela, Te Kura O Te Au’s Ngatuaine Tom and independent John Tini Snr.

And while the Demos are not challenging CIP MP Teina Bishop for his Arutanga-Reureu-Nikaupara seat, independent JJ Browne and Te Kura O Te Au’s May Kavana will be.

The country’s 13th parliament will be chosen at the election on November 17.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment