17 Apr 2003

Political reform amendments in Cook Islands have long way to go before coming law

4:37 pm on 17 April 2003

The latest in a series of hoped for amendments to the Cook Islands constitution still has several obstacles to overcome before it becomes law.

24 out of the 25 MPs during a closed session yesterday approved a call to axe the Overseas seat currentlly held by Dr Joe Williams.

They also discussed an amendments to reduce the number of electorates.

Last month MPs agreed to put forward an amendment to reduce their superannuation allowances and another amendment cut the Parliamentary term.

They came after considerable lobbying by the Cook Islands Group for Political Change.

Our correspondent in Rarotonga, Florence Syme Buchanan says the whole process could take another three months.

"It now has to lay for 90 days after that time it goes through a third reading and the parliament is required to vote for bill. They will need to have two third support from all MPs in the house before the next step which is to hold a national referendum in which two thirds support from all legible voters must be cast for this amendment before it becomes law"

Florence Syme Buchanan in Cook Islands.