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Puna to advise QR to summon Parliament

Saturday September 27, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
Prime Minister Henry Puna and Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, who’s pictured here as an MP, prior to assuming the title of Head of State. On Monday, Puna is expected to advise Marsters to summons Parliament. 14092635 Prime Minister Henry Puna and Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, who’s pictured here as an MP, prior to assuming the title of Head of State. On Monday, Puna is expected to advise Marsters to summons Parliament. 14092635

Prime Minister Henry Puna will be advising the Head of State to summon Parliament early next week, says his chief advisor.

Advisor Trevor Pitt with the Office of the Prime Minister said Puna will be drafting a letter to Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters to call for the sitting – the first since July’s general elections.
Puna is currently en-route from New York, where he attended a series of meetings, including attendance at the United Nations Climate Summit.
Pitt said he is expected to return to Rarotonga over the weekend and will be back at work on Monday, where he will be dealing with the fallout from this week’s High Court decision that saw the Cook Islands Party’s seat in Tamarua handed over to the Democratic Party.
“I expect there will be some discussions with the team on the current state of affairs,” said Pitt.
With the PM’s expected move early next week, Pitt said Parliament will likely be sitting before the upcoming by-election in Mitiaro – tentatively scheduled to be held in November.
If Parliament were to sit today, the CIP would entertain a working majority with 12 seats, as opposed to the Demos with 9 and One Cook Islands with 2.
A potential Demo-OCI coalition would result in eleven seats, still coming up short to the CIP’s numbers, thus increasing the importance of the Mitiaro seat to all three parties.
“It’s looking like Mitiaro will be a very deciding factor,” acknowledged Pitt. “It’s the only way the government can get a majority to govern on its own.”
With the tight numbers, avenues are open for possible coalitions but no MP’s have formally begun the necessary processes to form the next government.
Anthony Brown, the Official Secretary with the office of the Head of State, said QR Marsters has yet to be visited by an elected member who claims to have the necessary numbers to form a majority in Parliament.
 “No official engagements or appointments have come through this office,” said Browne.
Yesterday, Parliamentary Clerk John Tangi said he is still waiting for official confirmation from the Ministry of Justice on the developments regarding the transfer of the Tamarua seat to the Demos.

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