HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 570:29 June 2011

Pukapuka by-election may still end up a lot closer

The preliminary result of the Pukapuka by-election on Tuesday was announced after 7pm. While CIP candidate Tekii Lazaro has a commanding lead, the result is by no means conclusive and it would be unwise to start celebrating.
The result was;
Tekii Lazaro-CIP-134 votes
Vai Peua-Demo- 84 votes.
Advance and Postal votes will be counted next week and the final result should be known by next Tuesday. According to the Chief Electoral Officer, there are 28 advance votes, less than 20 votes by declaration and an undisclosed number of postal votes.
On election night in November 2010, the outcome was;
Ravarua-Demo-77 votes.
There were 282 people on the roll.
While it seems unlikely that Peua can overtake Lazaro on postal and advance votes, some CIP members are saying the final result is likely to be a lot closer. The CIP expect that a good portion of the advance and postal votes will favour Peua.
There is speculation that Peua’s votes reflect some dissatisfaction within the Demo camp over the selection of Peua as the Demo candidate. It would appear some Demos may have voted for Lazaro in protest, or not voted at all.
This now means that provisionally the CIP have 15 seats, Demos 8 and there is 1 Independent.
Should Lazaro hold the seat, and had Norman George not left the CIP, the CIP would have a two thirds majority which would have enabled them to amend the Constitution.

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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