Minister Robert Tapaitau with Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown and Ms Janet Browne at the Queens Representative Grounds.

Electoral Petitions finish and government remains.

After nearly eight weeks of waiting and two weeks of litigation in the courts the Cook Islands Party can continue to take the helm of this country and look towards the calling of the 49th session of Parliament here in the Cook Islands and third term in government.

Prime Minister Henry Puna, who was relieved but not surprised at the outcome of all the petitions said “its back to business for us”, as they gathered at Cabinet last week after the announcement of the Rakahanga petition being lost by the Democratic Party.

The  Cook Islands Party, filed just one petition on behalf of Ngatangi’ia constituency where Tukaka Ama lost to the Democratic Party’s Tamaiva Tuavera. This petition failed and Tuavera remains the Member for Ngatangi’ia.

The Democratic Party filed four petitions in the constituencies of Avatiu-Ruatonga, Murienua, Pukapuka-Nassau and Rakahanga and also filing one petition was the One Cook Islands Party in Mauke, where there was a one vote margin by the winner, the Cook Islands Party member Tai Tura.

With the four petitions against the Cook Islands Party by the Democratic Party and one by One Cook Islands now finished at the courts , the incumbent government will call Parliament in the coming weeks and then the Budget and other national matters will be attended to.

As the next Cook Islands General Election is set for 2022, the Democratic Party faces twelve years in Opposition after losing the General election in 2010.