The Cook Islands is scheduled to hold its next general elections on Thursday June 14th 2018, as gazetted by the Chief Electoral officer through a public notice. Nominations of candidates closed on Monday 30th April 2018 at 12pm.
The official candidates list was released by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM), the responsible Electoral management Body in Cook Islands. News reports have noted that 58 candidates from the governing Cook Islands Party (CIP), Democratic Party, One Cook Islands (OCI), Independent, Titikaveka Oire and “Alternative Must Ravenga Openga” will be competing for 24 seats. 12 women are standing out of the 58 candidates in the upcoming elections, which is 5 more than the number that stood in the 2014 general elections.
Cook Islands follows the Westminster system of government. The Parliament consists of a single chamber of 24 elected members, who are voted in under a “first-past the post” electoral system.
Population: According to the Ministry of Finance & Economic Management, on 1 December 2016 the Cook Islands total population count was 17,459, decreasing by 2 per cent when compared to the 2011 Census. This figure consists of residents and non-residents (mostly tourists) in the Cook Islands on Census night. Rarotonga remains the most populous island of the Cook Islands with 75 per cent of the population residing there. The Southern Group islands account for 19 per cent of the population while 6 per cent were in the Northern Group islands on Census night.
Updates on the Cook Islands elections will be provided regularly as election date draws near.