One Cook Islands Party Announces Vaipae-Tautu Candidate

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Female community leader to contest by-election

By Phillipa Webb

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, March 4, 2015) – A community leader and mother of 12 will stand for One Cook Islands in the Vaipae-Tautu by-election set to be held at the end of the month.

One Cook Islands leader Teina Bishop said his party’s candidate Amiria Davey is well-respected in the Aitutaki community.

The by-election will be held on March 31, following the recent death of Democratic Party candidate Kete Ioane.

Bishop was campaign manager for Ioane, but instead of supporting his replacement, OCI had decided to put forward their own candidate, he said.

"The seat belongs to Kete, as far as I am concerned he is the winner of Vaipai-Tautu – Kete died a winner."

Bishop said all members of the OCI committee had voted to put forward Davey, who was originally in the running to be the new Vaipae-Tautu Democratic Party candidate.

"I said it was time we put forward the voice of one of our Aitutaki women in the House of Parliament and the decision was unanimous."

Davey was born in Vaipae, Aitutaki and educated at Araura Primary School and later attended Tereora College.

In 1962 she attended Nikao Teachers’ Training College and taught at both Atiu Junior High School and Araura Junior High School.

Davey became principal of the school in 2000, holding the position until the end of 2005, when she retired from teaching.

She has been coordinator for People with Disabilities on Aitutaki since 2006 until she resigned recently to run in the by-election.

"I am standing for the people, of the people, and with the people. To be a voice for the Iti Vaine of Araura Enua and to keep the peace between our people," she said.

"This is a challenge for me, God help me!"

Democratic Party general secretary Eddie Drollet said the party would announce their own Vaipae-Tautu candidate on Thursday.

He said the party still was not ruling out forming a coalition with One Cook Islands.

Meanwhile, the Cook Islands Party have confirmed Mona Ioane as their candidate.

On Election Day in July last year, the Cook Islands Party won 12 seats, the Democratic Party won nine and One Cook Islands secured two seats.

Then following electoral petitions and appeals, the Mitiaro seat was awarded to the Democratic Party, taking them to 10 seats.

But the outcome of the Vaipae-Tautu by-election and an outstanding Court of Appeal verdict on the constituency seat of Mitiaro could change the make-up of Parliament.

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