30 Dec 2009

Returned Cook Islands Cabinet Minister claims Government stable despite upheavals

2:09 pm on 30 December 2009

One of the three new Cabinet Ministers in the Cook Islands, Wilkie Rasmussen, believes the government is stable, despite the upheavals in the run-up to Christmas.

The changes came about after the Prime Minister, Jim Marurai, dumped his deputy, Sir Terepai Maoate, blaming him for the fiasco surrounding the failed bid to buy the Toa fuel tank farm.

Three other Cabinet Ministers then resigned in support.

Mr Rasmussen, who was himself sacked in July, says there will be meetings soon between the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and members of the ruling Democratic Party:

"I don't think people should panic. I think the new Cabinet should be given a chance to prove itself."

The oppostion Cook Islands Party has been calling for early elections, saying the people have no confidence in the split ruling Democratic Party.