18 Jan 2010

Cook Islands Party says current political stand-off unacceptable

5:53 pm on 18 January 2010

The president of the Cook Islands Party, Henry Puna, says the current stand-off with the Prime Minister is unacceptable and future political reform is essential for better governance.

Jim Marurai is facing a no confidence vote by the majority of 19 MPs amid calls for an early election although no date has been set for parliament to sit.

Cabinet ministers are expecting to be briefed on options for political reform this week as a referendum on the matter is now planned to coincide with the next election.

Mr Puna says reforms are necessary to avoid ongoing political upheavals.

"It's this sort of reputation that there's never a dull moment in the Cook Islands and I think we need to try and overcome that. And certainly what's happening now wouldn't help at all in that endeavour. But there are very serious implications for our system of governance here if this current situation persists for much longer and I think people will start if they haven't already begin losing respect for politics and for politicians. But I think at the same time there is also an expectation that key players like the Prime Minister would do the right thing."

Henry Puna.

The citizens' group Mou Piri and the political group Te Kura O Te Au have also been calling for political reform in the Cook Islands .