1953 Cook Islands general election

General elections were held in the Cook Islands in 1953.[1] The elections took the form of an election to Rarotonga Island Council, whose sole European member also automatically became the only elected member of the Legislative Council.

1953 Cook Islands general election

← 1947 1953 1956 →

Electoral system edit

The Cook Islands Legislative Council consisted of ten members elected by island councils (four from Rarotonga and six from smaller islands), ten civil servants appointed by the Governor-General of New Zealand (the Chief Medical Officer, the Director of Agriculture, the Education Officer, six Resident Agents and the Treasurer) and the Resident Commissioner, who was president of the council. The sole European member of Rarotonga Island Council automatically became the island's representative in the Legislative Council, and was the only member of the Legislative Council to be directly elected.[2]

Elections to Rarotonga Island Council were held every three years, with the six Cook Islander members elected from single-member constituencies based on the land survey districts, and the European member from the entire island.[3]

Results edit

Incumbent MLC Willie Watson was defeated by Henley McKegg. This was attributed by Pacific Islands Monthly to Watson's criticism of the colonial administration, as more than half of the registered voters were civil servants or their partners.[1]

Henley McKegg6654.10Elected
Willie Watson3730.33Unseated
Valid votes12298.39
Invalid/blank votes21.61
Total votes124100.00
Registered voters/turnout13492.54
Source: Pacific Islands Monthly

References edit

  1. ^ a b Rarotonga has a lively election Pacific Islands Monthly, April 1953, p17
  2. ^ Richard Phillip Gilson (1980) The Cook Islands, 1820-1950 p200
  3. ^ Gilson, p201