9 Nov 2002

Sacked Cook Islands justice minister calls for fresh elections

9:15 am on 9 November 2002

The sacked Cook Islands justice minister, Norman George, says he believes the country should hold fresh elections

Mr George made the comment shortly after being sacked by the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, who says he has lost confidence in him.

Last year, Mr George was dismissed by Dr Terepai Maoate who has since lost the prime ministership to become the opposition leader.

Mr George says the dismissal came as a surprise but followed claims of a rumoured attempt last weekend to dump Dr Woonton.

He says the latest change is unlikely to go down well with voters.

"This has been the fourth coalition and with the new arrangement you can almost say this has been the fifth coalition since 1999. Our electors, the people, are very acutely aware of their rights. They are generally intolerant of this kind of nonsense and they won't tolerate any more messing around. All they are wanting to do is for us to go back to them."

And Mr George had this to say about some of his former cabinet colleagues....

They just want the job of being minister regardless of principles, regardless of party. Some people would die to become a minister. I am the exception. I've been in and out of parliament so many times it's become routine.