Puna recently claimed that the dismal performance of the Cook Islands Party in Rarotonga was due to the “negative campaigning” by the Demos.
The Democratic Party captured 48 per cent of the vote in the nation’s most populous island compared to 40.8 per cent for Puna’s CIP, with 8 per cent of the vote going to Tupapa-Maraerenga’s Member of Parliament-elect George Maggie from One Cook Islands.
Petitions notwithstanding, the Demos are currently holding on to six seats in Rarotonga, compared to three for the CIP and one for OCI.
“Contrary to what the Cook Islands Party said, the Democratic Party’s campaign has been refreshing, positive and dynamic and has been proven by the overwhelming support and results on Rarotonga,” reads a Democratic Party release issued by Leader Wilkie Rasmussen.
“The Democratic Party has listened to the cries of the people and has responded to the CIP’s poor and harsh taxation policies, dismal treatment of pensioners, and continuous waste of public funds and persistent allegations of corruption,” boast the Demos.
Elections results can still be swayed, as the High Court grapples with nine petitions that have been filed in the aftermath of the July 9 elections - with all but one being filed by Demo candidates.
In a release, the CIP said the petitions were expected as challenges to voter eligibility are inevitable, however, allegations by the Demos of voting fraud, bribery, and corruption were described as “unfortunate” and have previously been labelled “sour grapes” by Puna.
The Demo’s struck back on Wednesday in defence of their court challenges.
“The Democratic Party is very supportive of the recourse by way of petition provided by the law for candidates feeling cheated during the elections,” said Rasmussen.
“People should be thankful that allegations of non-qualification of voters, bribery, treating and undue influence can be investigated and decided upon by the courts. That’s what a democratic country is expected to have; a fair system allowing those aggrieved to seek remedy.”
“These petitions were thought out carefully by the petitioners and their committees, the Party and Party’s lawyers, and all are very hopeful of success.”