22 Jun 2016

Parliamentary veteran says Cooks Opposition in the right

2:25 pm on 22 June 2016

A former speaker of the Cook Islands parliament says the actions of the Opposition in voting out the prime minister were one hundred percent legitimate.

Norman George

Norman George Photo: CI Parliament

The Opposition claim to have removed the prime minister in a no confidence vote, but the government has dismissed this as a farce.

Norman George, who is also a lawyer and was an MP for many years, said the vote in parliament was made possible by the procedural errors of Speaker Nikki Rattle.

Mr George said she failed to adjourn parliament so it remained in session, allowing the opposition coalition to hold their vote and he said they acted legally.

"Absolutely 100 percent legal and legitimate because the Opposition caucus followed the letter of the law, of the parliamentary standing orders as well as the Cook Islands constitution."

Opposition MPs locked out

MPs from the Opposition coalition have been waiting outside a locked down Parliament this morning amid the uncertainty over the country's leadership.

The deputy leader of the Opposition coalition Tamaiva Tuavera said the lockout was wrong.

"We came here with our new prime minister because parliament is still sitting. They have sorted their legal opinions but we haven't seen it in writing."

Ngatangiia Rarotonga MP, Tamaiva Tuavera.

Ngatangiia Rarotonga MP, Tamaiva Tuavera. Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

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