10 Mar 2010

Rifts linger in Cooks Democratic Party after Maoate ouster

12:58 pm on 10 March 2010

Attempts to re-unite factions of the Cook Islands Democratic Party appear doomed after unsuccessful demands for the party leader, the former Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, step down.

The party split just before last Christmas when Sir Terepai was dumped from Cabinet and several other Ministers resigned in protest.

But the Cabinet vacancies were taken up by other Democratic Party members who now want to put the dispute behind them ahead of the elections in September.

Our correspondent, Florence Syme-Buchanan, says the politicians are well aware that third parties have never been successful in the Cook Islands.

"The general view is that the five in Government now want to rejoin with the Democratic Party, knowing the history of political parties in the Cook Islands, and knowing also that they need the support of the other members in the Democrats if they are to go to Parliament."

Florence Syme-Buchanan, reporting from Rarotonga