Cooks in quandary after opposition vote
The Cook Islands opposition claims it has toppled the government but cabinet minister, Mark Brown, calls a vote of no confidence a farcical exercise.
The opposition coalition in the Cook Islands claims it legitimately voted the Henry Puna government out of office yesterday.
But the Finance Minister, Mark Brown, called it a farcical exercise bordering on treason.
Our correspondent, Florence Syme Buchanan, told Don Wiseman the opposition coalition is waiting to hear from the Queen's Representative, Tom Marsters.
But she in the meantime the status quo remains.
FLORENCE SYME BUCHANAN: The Cook Island party government remains the government until such time that the queen's representative is satisfied that the events in today's parliament were indeed legal, and the opposition acted correctly
when it attended to the order paper, which included a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Henry Puna and his cabinet, and voted on that item in the order paper and had a majority vote of 12 MPs who also indicated their support
in MP Rose Brown to be Prime Minister. So nothing changes until such time that the QR accepts these events as being legal. It will be very likely the crown law office is burning the midnight oil to examine our constitutions possibly with the advice
of the cook island's constitutional expert alex frame in new zealand to see whether today's events were legal or not.
DON WISEMAN: Yes, but as far as the finance Minister Mark Brown goes they can't dispute what the speaker did, what Niki Rattle did the other day is it? She said Parliament was finished so Parliament was finished.
FSB: That's Minister Brown's opinion. There is also the opinion of former speaker of the house Mr. Norman George and a former clark of Parliament John Scott, who also happens to be quite an authority on the role of Parliament who have both said publicly in the local newspaper
that what transpired on Friday when there was an attempt to adjourn Parliament was incorrect Parliamentary procedure, leaving the current session of Parliament still in session meaning that MPs were required to be in Parliament today at 1pm and carry on business as normal.
DW: Rose Brown as possible new Prime Minister, now she is now a member of the Cook Island Party, which of course is the ruling party, so she crossed the floor for this?
FSB: That would seem to be very much the case, that she has crossed the floor, because she appeared in Parliament, she took the chair in the absence of the speaker of the house Niki Raffle. Rose Brown is the deputy speaker so it is well within her right to do that as speaker Niki Raffle was unavailable. And that she has defected to the opposition coalition seems the case right now, and it also seems that Internal Affairs Minister Albert Nicholas has also gone back to the democratic party for whom he stood for successfully in the last general elections and then he was offered a ministership in the Cook Island's party government, and went and joined them and formed a goverment with the Cook Island's party but it seems hes gone back to the fold.
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