At stake in this Referendum:
- A referendum to reduce the number of Members of Parliament from 24.
Description of government structure:
- Chief of State: Queen ELIZABETH II *
- Head of Government: Prime Minister Jim MARURAI
- Assembly: Cook Islands has a unicameral Parliament with 25 seats.
* The Queen is represented by Frederick GOODWIN; New Zealand High Commissioner Linda TE PUNI
Description of electoral system:
- The Queen is hereditary.
- The Prime Minister is designated by the monarch.**
- In the Parliament 24 members are elected by plurality vote in single-member constituencies to serve 5-year terms.***
** The leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually becomes prime minister.
*** Ten MPs are from the main island of Rarotonga and the rest are from the outer islands.
Main provisions in the Referendum:
- A non-binding referendum to reduce the current number of MP’s in Parliament.
- The referendum is non-binding. If a majority of electors vote in favor of the referendum, the issue will be voted on in Parliament. A two-thirds majority in Parliament is required to enact the referendum.
Population and number of registered voters:
- Population: 11,488 (July 2010 est.)
- Registered Voters: 8,418 (November 2010 The registered voter number reflect the number of voters on the main and supplementary rolls just prior to the election (supplied by the Electoral Office). Some special votes and just over 400 votes cast by declaration were not included in these numbers.)