Selina Napa, ‘Aunty Sel’, wins Titikaveka by-election in Cook Islands

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28th June, 2012

Selina Napa – Cook Islands News

Selina Napa is “stoked and overwhelmed” after winning the Titikaveka by-election. The people of Titikaveka have chosen their new political representative to be Selina Napa of the Democratic Party. Napa beat her brother Teariki Matenga of the Cook Islands party by a slim margin of 14 votes in the Titikaveka by-election. She received 297 votes, Matenga received 283, and Teava Iro, an Independent candidate, received 104.

Napa said even though preliminary results showed she was in the lead, she couldn’t afford to relax. ”It was stressful and very intense but the end of the campaign boiled down to who was better organised.“ She said she has ”no idea“ what her brother’s feelings are on her winning, but said she felt ”relieved, happy, stoked and overwhelmed“ with the results.

”We knew when we entered it was going to be a tough battle, but papa Wigmore’slegacy will now live on. I’m ready for the challenges ahead.“

Napa wanted to thank the Wigmore family for allowing the campaign to be based from their home, everyone in the election committee for their hard work, and her family, especially her husband Shane and three children, for always being supportive.

She also gives special thanks to the people of Titkaveka, for exercising their democratic right to vote. Out of the 855 people on the Titikaveka electoral role, 684 voted – a good turnout according to Napa. But winning the by-election is not the end of the fight.

”Now I’ve got my foot through the door it’ll be a lot of hard work,“ she says, ”but I’m happy to champion the concerns of my people in parliament.“

”My door is always open and I’m still ‘Aunty Sel’ – that hasn’t changed,“ she laughs.

Napa is proud to be the second woman currently in parliament – the other being Nikao MP Ngamau (Aunty MauMunokoa – a view shared by her party leader Wilkie Rasmussen.

”I’m proud we have the only two female MPs in Parliament,“ he says. ”I’m going to have one seated at my left, and one seated at my right.“

Rasmussen says Napa’s success signifies much more active participation of women in parliament and this shows there is significant support in the general electorate for a Democratic-led government following the next elections.

”Sel’s victory is the start of the renaissance for the Democratic party.“

Cook Islands News –

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