15 Jul 2003

Cook Islands National Party to seek declaratory judgment against two MPs

10:27 am on 15 July 2003

The Cook Islands National Party leader, Teariki Heather is to file an application for the High court to make a declaratory judgement as to whether the seats held by MPs Norman George and Paora Teiti are vacant or not.

Attorney General and Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Terepai Maoate, has faile to file an application as recommended by the Audit Office after it examined payments made to MPs George and Teiti.

In the Cook Islands, when MPs receive salaries as public servants their seats are declared vacant.

Dr Maoate was advised by the Audit Office to act as an officer of the law and put aside political considerations.

National Leader, Teariki Heather has been reported as saying the Democratic Party government is making a mockery of its political responsibilities.