Teina Bishop new Cook Islands opposition leader
The new leader of the Cook Islands opposition has come out swinging after a surprise result which saw him secure six votes from outside his party.
The Cook Islands opposition has confirmed the election of Teina Bishop as its new leader.
Mr Bishop, who is from the minority One Cook Islands party, gained six Democrat votes along with the two from his own party to secure the leadership over Democrat leader William Heather.
Three Democrats abstained, contributing to a delay of the declaration of the result.
In a statement in the Cook Islands News, Mr Heather, who remains the Democrats' leader, says Mr Bishop's election is a strategic move to strengthen the coalition partnership.
Teina Bishop spoke with Koroi Hawkins about his objectives.
TEINA BISHOP: Take over government prime objective.
KOROI HAWKINS: Right and how confident are you of achieving that end?
TB: That is a question I can't answer you now. It's like letting the cat out of the bag...laughs...
KH: I also understand you have concerns about the EU/Cook Islands agreement on fisheries?
TB: That is correct I am totally against it for two reasons, number one we are dealing with super purse-seiners and number two the most important reason is that we have a signature of 4000 concerned Cook Islanders and that petition is sitting in the house of parliament and my belief is we should go through the process of the select committee going to canvass the views of our people and come back with a report to parliament before government or anybody else should sign any agreement with the EU taking into consideration the principle of democracy where it is the government of the people, for the people and by the people.
KH: And do you have an indication of when the next sitting of parliament might be?
TB: No idea that is a call by the prime minister. We are not going to wait for parliament until we get our opposition views into our people we are going to use the media a lot more from now on and of course we are going to digest the issues and make sure that we do our job as the opposition voted for by the people and if one would go and look at the results of the election. The composition of the house, not the seats but in terms of the voting population we are being governed by 38 percent of the voters in the house and the coalition of the Democratic Party and the One Cook Islands Party represents a 62 percent so already we have the mandate in terms of the voters in parliament to take on government.
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