14 May 2002

Cooks clerk appeals for end to current session

4:41 pm on 14 May 2002

The Cook Islands clerk of parliament is appealing to the government to end the current parliamentary session which has been running since 1999.

Nga Valoa says parliament, which has just been adjourned indefinitely, only sat 11 days last year and ten days so far this year.

Mr Valoa says prior to this 43rd session, parliament could be expected to sit for at least 50 to 60 days per annum.

"It will be my opinion to say the trend will continue until such time as we have a more stable government. We have been putting off the ceremonial opening because these government have been saying can we put it off, can we postpone it. It's been going on for a long time. We need to put an end to it."

Mr Valoa says bills have been passed but there is a backlog of 60 papers to present in parliament.

They include a report from the Political Review Commission that politicians are not earning their pay because they do not sit often enough as well as departmental and ministry reports, executive council orders and auditors' reports.