A notice issued by chief electoral officer Taggy Tangimetua for publication in today’s CINews said candidate nominations will close on Friday, December 21, 2018. Interested candidates are required to lodge $500 with the electoral officer on Rarotonga or the deputy registrar on Mangaia.
The main roll will close on December 11 at 4pm and objections to names on it will close a week later on December 18.
However, closure of the supplementary roll has been extended to December 28 at 4pm, with objections closing on January 7.
The by-election announcement follows a call from Democratic (parliamentary) opposition leader Terepai Maoate last week for the Speaker of the House, Niki Rattle, to urgently set a date.
In a Demo Party press release, Maoate said leaving the constituency in limbo was “totally unfair” to the people of Ivirua.
Mangaia had traditionally been a Demo Party stronghold and he didn’t envisage any change, the Aitutaki MP said
However, a source close to the Cook Islands Party described voter mood on the island as “fluid”.
Another source said rumoured imminent “bombshell” developments on the political scene could make a Demo win less than predictable.