A former independent MP in the Cook Islands says Sir Terepai Maoate holds the majority support of his party after his sacking as deputy prime minister.
Vai Peua, who has now joined the Cook Islands Party, says it was wrong of the Prime Minister Jim Marurai to sack the former deputy prime minister before Christmas.
He says the long-time politician shouldn't have been alone to be blamed for a failed deal over a tank farm.
Mr Peua says Sir Terepai has the support of the Democratic Party .
"The member of parliament for the Democratic, all the executive of the Democratic Party and also the people, the supporters of the Democratic party they're not happy with what the PM's done to the DPM. It's only five members that's with the PM and ten with the DPM."
Vai Peua, who is the MP for Pukapuka Nassau, says Sir Terepai should consider running for Prime Minister at this year's election.