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Closing date set for candidates in Cook Islands election
11:17 pm GMT+12, 16/04/2018, Cook Islands

The closing date for nominating candidates entering the 2018 General Election in Cook Islands has been set for 30 April, with each applicant also required to pay $500 (US$367).
 
This notice, from the electoral office, comes after Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters dissolved Parliament and set the election date for 14 June, on request of prime minister Henry Puna.
 
Thursday next week will see the main roll close at 4pm, with any objections to that list required before April 26 at the same time.
 
May 3 4pm will see the close of the supplementary roll, and any objections to that roll will close the next week at the same time.
 
For people who are not enrolled, they can enrol now by downloading and completing the enrolment form and returning it to the Electoral office.
 
An elector whose details have changed from that shown on the roll or has since qualified to enrol will be required by law to notify the Electoral Office of the change or apply to register.
 
“We have witnessed an increase in voter registration in the last update of Cook Islands electoral rolls. These are mostly the new voters who have qualified to register to vote in the next elections,” chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua said.
 
“Voting is not compulsory but registration is. We encourage people to take part in an opportunity to make a difference and vote,” said Tangimetua.
 
Meanwhile, in the lead-up to the 14 June general election, the Democratic Party has promised to establish an independent committee against corruption.
 
The committee will introduce a code of conduct for Members of Parliament and also cabinet ministers.
 
The party has previewed a snippet of their policy manifesto, posting a list of five of their election aims on Facebook last Thursday.
 
According to the post, the party’s aspirations include a drive to fix Cook Islands infrastructure, with a focus on roads and drainage.
 
The manifesto preview said “proper tendering processes” would be put in place for infrastructure projects, in an effort to address issues around conflict of interest.
 
The Te Mato Vai Project was also an area of concern for the Demos. They stated that they would compensate landowners who have been affected by Te Mato Vai and an independent audit of the project’s spending was also promised.
 
Outer island residents will be interested in the Demos’ promise to invest $5million (US$3.6 million) into a “stimulus package” focussing on the diversification of the primary industries, including agriculture.
 
The manifesto preview said the package would include “concessional interest-rate loans”, meaning lower interest rates would be charged.
 
The money will be a part of a revolving fund which the Demo Party says will help with diversification “if tourism collapses”. The party also aimed to have doctors and dentists on all islands, the preview said.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS



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