23 Dec 2002

Cooks Islands MP rejoins government to push for early election

11:43 am on 23 December 2002

A former Cook Islands opposition MP, Norman George, says he's rejoined the government in order to push for an early election.

Earlier this year, he had said he would never work again with the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, or the Cook Islands party leader, Sir Geoffrey Henry, after he was dumped as a cabinet minister.

Mr George says differences have been put aside and he's likely to take on a consultancy contract as a special adviser to Dr Woonton.

He says he believes he can be more effective in government rather than on the outside of it.

"Look, what I really want from the Woonton government is an early election and if I can persuade them around that then I would be very happy. At this stage there is a lot of interest in that, but the Prime Minister is very keen to move the reform process along the way before the elections and if there are things that can be done to the constitution before the election he would like to do that first."

Mr George says he's also made up with opposition leader, Dr Terepai Maoate, and they're looking at what general election issues they can work together on.