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The Queen’s Representative in the Cook Islands, Sir Tom Marsters, has confirmed Mark Brown as the Prime Minister.

In a statement issued from Mark Brown’s office, Sir Tom said he was “satisfied” that Mark Brown had the majority of the MPs elected to Parliament.

Following the final count of the Cook Islands general elections, the Cook Islands Party (CIP) gained 12 seats in the 24-seat Parliament, including the Ngatangiia seat which was initially tied between CIP’s candidate Sonny Williams and Cook Islands United Party’s Margaret Matenga.

Brown thanked the community for a fair and peaceful election process.

“The people of the Cook Islands have spoken and I will now go through the process of confirming a government,” he said.

Petitions post-elections ‘expected’
Despite a clear majority, all candidates and parties have one week to lodge petitions and Cook Islands News editor Rashneel Kumar said it would be surprising if there were not any petitions.

“The bigger news normally is if we don’t have any petitions. So we do expect it,” he said.

“Since the Cook Islands gained self governing status from New Zealand, we have had petitions every elections so we do expect it and I think there are already parties that have been walking on that, so we will know by early next week, how many petitions have been filed.”

Flights start between Cook Islands and Tahiti
An inaugural flight from Rarotonga to Tahiti-Faa’a airport in Pape’ete, French Polynesia, took place today.

Prime Minister Mark Brown was boarding the flight along with a delegation.

The flight comes after a deal between Cook Islands and French Polynesian airlines — Air Rarotonga and Air Tahiti Nui — in hopes to attract visitors from America and Europe to the Cook Islands.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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