15 Nov 2004

Woonton announces new Cook Islands government

2:10 pm on 15 November 2004

The Cook Islands prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, has announced his Democratic party will combine with the Cook Islands Party to form a new coalition government.

However the two sides have yet to decide the final makeup of cabinet and the CIP leader Sir Geoffrey Henry's role in the new government.

Dr Woonton says he has decided that as it was nearly three months since the general election, the Cook Islands people had the right to know who constituted the government of the day.

He says he and Sir Geoffrey, together with members of caucus, have agreed to form a government of unity to bring the country together.

Sir Geoffrey says his party is happy to be associated with Dr Woonton and his team to work towards resolving what he calls the disquieting issues faced by the country.

Dr Woonton's election in his Manihiki seat is still being challenged in the Court of Appeal.