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Cook Islands governing party to vote for Mark Brown as new leader
04:43 am GMT+12, 28/09/2020, Cook Islands

Cook Islands Party deny any unrest among its members ahead of this week’s leadership election.
 
Mark Brown will be confirmed as the new leader of the governing Cook Islands Party at their conference on Wednesday.
 
However, there is yet to be an announcement on who will take up the deputy prime ministership when Brown succeeds the outgoing Prime Minister Henry Puna.
 
With the transition fast approaching, some including Opposition leader Tina Browne say the processes can be difficult if there “are many demands and conditions” made by individuals in the Cook Islands Party team.
 
But Cook Islands Party vice-president Rohan Ellis denied any unrest in the party and said the Opposition leader should not be worried about the CIP caucus.
 
“Tina Browne should not worry about the CIP, she should worry about her own party,” Ellis said.
 
“Henry Puna as the outgoing leader and Mark Brown as the incoming leader have the full and total control of the CIP caucus. We don’t control our Independent coalition members.
 
“We have a strong partnership with our independent coalition.”
 
The party’s conference will be held next Wednesday September 30 at the Assemblies of God Church and is by invitation only.  
 
The party’s strategy for the next two years will be discussed and one of the items on the agenda is the election of the new leader.
 
“Voting is part of any election,” Ellis said.
 
In June, Prime Minister Henry Puna announced his intentions to make way for his deputy to take on the top role. Puna is vying for the position of Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
 
Earlier this month, the Cook Islands Party met with their constituencies on Rarotonga to discuss the transition of Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown stepping up as the leader of the country.
 
The party also held phone conferences with the Pa Enua constituencies.
 
Opposition leader Tina Browne said: “What it eventually comes down to is that, not everyone will be happy with what is offered, or not offered – pleasing everyone is extremely difficult.”
 
“Even more so if the party is currently in government, it’s likely everyone has very high expectations for themselves,” she said.
 
The job of caucus and executive can be made even harder if there are very vocal and insistent forces from outside, who may possibly be quite influential, who are trying to call the shots and manipulate the decisions, Browne said.
 
“I’m guessing these may be some of the reasons that the Cook Islands Party conference hasn’t already been held and a final decision made on who will lead the party.
 
“Right now, it’s a waiting game for us all to see the results the Cook Islands Party conference will deliver. And hopefully deliver while Parliament is scheduled to be sitting next week.”
 
A Rarotonga resident is asking for the leaders of the country to put political ambition and ego aside and do what is best for the people of the nation.
 
Temu Okotai said transparency is key and he hopes that whatever decision is made, it is united and in the best interests of the communities government represents.

SOURCE: COOK ISLANDS NEWS/PACNEWS


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