26 Jul 2006

Cook Islands Party leader questions dissolution of parliament

10:20 am on 26 July 2006

The leader of the opposition Cook Islands Party, Sir Geoffrey Henry, says his party is questioning the decision to dissolve parliament.

Yesterday, the Queen's Representative, Sir Frederick Goodwin, took the Prime Minister's advice and called new general elections after a by-election was won by the opposition.

Sir Frederick said in an address to the nation that he had grave doubts as to the likelihood of a stable government emerging from the present government.

Sir Geoffrey says he believes Sir Frederick should have looked more closely at a provision in the constitution:

"Which requires him to check to make sure , to satisfy himself, that in tendering the advice to dissolve parliament, which advice was given by the Prime Minister as required by law, that the Prime Minister at that point in time enjoyed the confidence of the majority of the members of parliament"

The current government can continue in a caretaker role for up to three months, but new elections must be held by October