2 Apr 2010

Cooks bishop likens Marurai government to Bainimarama regime

2:48 pm on 2 April 2010

A Cook Islands bishop has likened his country to Fiji over his frustration that the Cook Islands government keeps refusing to call parliament.

The prime minister, Jim Marurai, has said he won't convene the House until September, or possibly until the elections, amid concern his administration could be voted out with a motion of no confidence.

Bishop Tutai Pere of the Apostolic Church has likened the six-member minority government to that of the interim government in Fiji led by the military commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama.

"Well in the sense there's no more democracy. It's just a tiny few that's running. Democratic ministers who have resigned sided with the Cook Islands party, to have the majority, nineteen altogether, waiting for parliament to be called so they could put in or lodge in a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister just stalls and stalls and stalls, not calling any parliamentary sitting."

According to Bishop Tutai Pere, four of the six members of cabinet have reportedly been given an ultimatum by the Democratic Party to resign as ministers, or face expulsion from the party.