Political uncertainty in the Cook Islands

The Cook Islands provisional election results indicates a possible change of government with a former cabinet minister facing bribery and corruption allegations the likely kingmaker.

The ruling Cook Islands Party has lost much of its support taking ten out of the 24 seats compared to 16 at the last election in 2010.

The opposition Democratic Party has won 11 seats.

However it's still too close to call as there is a draw in Tamarua on the island of Mangaia with both candidates at 23 votes each and special votes are still to be counted.

Prime Minister Henry Puna is trailing his opposing candidate by two votes.

Former cabinet minister Teina Bishop, who is being investigated by the NZ Serious Fraud Office over bribery and corruption allegations is positioned to be the likely kingmaker.

His party, One Cook Islands, has taken two seats previously held by the Cook Islands Party.

Around six hundred special votes are still to be counted which could alter the provisional results significantly.

The official results will be released late next week.

Beach at Cook Islands Source: 1 NEWS

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