4 Oct 2006

Cooks caretaker government sees budget as priority

2:48 pm on 4 October 2006

The Cook Islands acting deputy prime minister and minister of finance, Dr Terepai Maoate, says the first pressing matter before his government will be the passing of the budget.

Dr Maoate is confident that his Democratic Party will take as many as 17 of the 24 seats, giving it the power to pass sweeping political reforms.

The final results from last week's poll are not expected until tomorrow but Dr Maoate is already compiling an agenda on reforms such as legislation to stop party hopping.

He says he and acting prime minister, Jim Marurai, are looking forward to forming a stable government but he says there are processes that must be gone through first, including the expected election petitions from the opposition.