15 Jun 2004

Cook Islands opposition leader talks election issues

6:20 am on 15 June 2004

The leader of the opposition in the Cook Islands, Sir Geoffrey Henry, says traditional election issues will remain central in the election later this year despite the expected emphasis on political reform.

The government has indicated it will dissolve parliament by midweek in order for general elections to be held in September, with cabinet to decide on an election date today.

Sir Geoffrey says he's looking forward to this election, which looms as a departure from previous polls because of the number of independents likely to be running.

He says while some people have been pushing the need for reform as the big election issue, key issues such as health, education and economic growth are the ones that count.

"And when we start talking about good governance, that of course is a very important factor in the whole exercise. I mean, if you don't have good governance, you won't get economic growth."

So the whole lot of issues run together and you can't simply isolate one issue and say that that is the election issue. Life is far more complicated than that.