Cook Islands general election, 2010
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Cook Islands
General elections were held in the Cook Islands on 17 November 2010 in order to elect 24 MPs to the Cook Islands Parliament. The elections were won by the Cook Islands Party, which won 16 of the 24 seats. Voter turnout was 78%.
Parliament will sit for the first time following the election in February 2011.
The Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Jim Marurai, which had governed since 2004, effectively collapsed in December 2009 after Finance Minister Terepai Maoate was sacked for his mishandling of a bid to buy the Toa fuel tank farm. This resulted in a mass-resignation of Democratic Party cabinet members, the expulsion of Marurai and his supporters, and the withdrawal of support for the government. Marurai then refused to reconvene Parliament in order to forestall a confidence vote. A formal split in the Democratic Party was averted in June 2010 when a party conference readmitted Marurai and the other Cabinet members, and appointed Deputy Prime Minister Robert Wigmore as party leader, with Wilkie Rasmussen as his deputy. However, several senior MPs, including former leader Terepai Maoate and former President John Tangi subsequently failed to win reselection and ran as independents.
Parliament was dissolved on 24 September. Candidate registration closed on 15 October. 70 candidates registered, including 24 from the Cook Islands Party, 23 from the Democrats, 6 from the Te Kura O Te ‘Au People's Movement and 16 independents. Of the 70 candidates, eight were women.
On 11 September 2010, a poll of 182 voters conducted by the Cook Islands News reported that the Democratic Party had 33% support, the Cook Islands Party 26%, and independents 14%. The margin of error of the poll was 7%.
A poll of 100 Rarotongans conducted by the Cook Islands Herald on 1 November found that 24% named Democratic Party leader Robert Wigmore as their preferred Prime Minister, 18% preferred Wilkie Rasmussen, 8% Prime Minister Jim Marurai, 5% Cook Islands Party leader Henry Puna, 2% CIP deputy Teina Bishop and 10% others, with 33% undecided.
The Democratic Party launched its campaign on October 7 in vaka Takitumu with the campaign slogan "Our Future. Now." The party promised stability, benefit increases, and public service cuts. It contested every electorate except Arutanga-Nikaupara-Reureu.
The Cook Islands Party launched their campaign on October 8, promising an increased child benefit, a $1000 "baby bonus", water tanks for every household and to address the cost of living. They also promised to prevent "reckless" public spending by making Ministers and public servants personally liable for any misspent funds.
Four electoral petitions were subsequently lodged, challenging the results in the electorates of Pukapuka, Rakahanga, Tamarua and Vaipae-Tautu. The petitions were heard in January and February 2011. The results in Rakahanga and Tamarua were upheld.
|Cook Islands Party||3,753||44.5||16|
|Te Kura O Te ‘Au People's Movement||145||1.7||0|
|DP||Teremoana Tapi Taio||150||44.6|
|DP||Terepai Maoate Jnr||106||38.1|
|Independent||John Tini Snr||8||2.9|
|CIPT||Albert (Peto) Nicholas||130||26.6|
|Independent||Junior Areai Enoka||29||15.0|
|DP||William (Smiley) Heather||348||64.9|
|TKA||Simiona Teva Robert||19||6.6|
- Candidates in the Cook Islands general election 2010 by electorate
- Cook Islands Member of Parliament reduction referendum, 2010
- Electoral calendar
- "Cook Islands leader announces election date". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2010-08-13.
- "CIP secures 16 seats". Cook Islands News. 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
- "Voter turnout down". Cook Islands News. 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
- "Cooks referendum during November election". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Parliament due to sit in February". Cook Islands news. 2010-11-17. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
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- "Marurai Wilkie coalition falling apart". Democratic Party - Cook Islands. 2009-12-31. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved 2010-01-04.
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- "Already on the campaign trail". Cook Islands News. 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- "Rua stands down". Cook Islands News. 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
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- "70 standing". Cook Islands News. 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Most candidates we've ever seen". Cook Islands News. 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "76% want seats cut". Cook Islands News. 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Pollsters ready for the numbers game". Cook Islands News. 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Top three choices all Demos". Cook Islands Herald. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- "Demo campaign kicks off". Cook Islands News. 2010-10-06. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
- "Demos bill manifesto as 'playbook'". Cook Islands News. 2010-10-16. Archived from the original on 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Democratic Party launches manifesto, vowing public sector cuts". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-21.
- "Election about shared dreams: CIP". Cook Islands News. 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
- "No reckless spending: CIP". Cook Islands News. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2010-10-14.
- "Final results give Cook Islands Party two-thirds majority". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-11-29. Retrieved 2010-11-29.
- "New Cook Islands PM sworn in". Radio New Zealand International. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
- "Range of issues tackled in hearings on electoral petitions". Cook Islands Times. 2010-12-08. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- "Court upholds Rakahanga result". Cook Islands News. 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "CIP retains Tamarua seat". Cook Islands News. 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2011-02-13.