The Cook Islands Party has hit back at claims by One Cook Islands that they must win the Vaipae-Tautu by-election or risk having a 'plastic quorum' in parliament.
One Cook Islands party leader Teina Bishop told the Cook Island News that if CIP did not win the by-election they would only have 11 members in Parliament, plus Democratic Party MP Albert Nicholas - not enough to form a government.
Mr Bishop says if Mr Nicholas voted against the Democratic Party in issues of confidence he risked losing his seat.
But CIP party president Rau Nga says his party will be loyal to Mr Nicholas and when issues of confidence are tabled in Parliament he will not be present.
The CIP also says the OCI is doing its best to distract the voters and that its leader Teina Bishop is only showing how inconsistent he is in trying to secure support in Aitutaki.