7 May 2004

Cook Islands ruling party president embraces criticism

10:23 am on 7 May 2004

The president of the ruling Cook Islands Democratic Party is embracing criticism of its government, saying the public has seen - and is seeing - too much corruption.

Speaking at the second day of their two day party conference, Iaveta Short told delegates they need to weed out elements of corruption if they want to win at general elections later this year.

No date has been set yet for the elections in the Cooks, due in September at the latest.

Mr Short did not identify who he thinks is responsible for corruption.

But the party president has opposed moves by MP Norman George to avoid preliminary elections in his constituency on Atiu island.

Mr George has supported five different coalitions in the last five years, with constant public criticism of his spending on perks and poorly performing projects.