×

Warning

JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 81

OCI leave coalition doors open

Monday September 29, 2014 Written by Published in Politics
The OCI team: President George Turia, Leader and Aitutaki MP Teina Bishop, runner up in July’s election in Mauke Tungane (Nane) Williams, and MP for Tupapa-Maraerenga George Maggie, pictured here during campaign wrap-up on Mauke. 14092801 The OCI team: President George Turia, Leader and Aitutaki MP Teina Bishop, runner up in July’s election in Mauke Tungane (Nane) Williams, and MP for Tupapa-Maraerenga George Maggie, pictured here during campaign wrap-up on Mauke. 14092801

Despite having only two elected members, the prospect of One Cook Islands being a necessary partner in the nation’s next government is increasingly becoming a reality.

With this week’s news of the Democratic Party’s reclamation of the seat in Tamarua, what was already a precarious political situation has now become even fragile.
With the addition of Mangaian MP Tetangi Matapo to the Party fold, the Demos now sit with nine members in the House, well short of 12 MP’s for the Cook Islands Party.
A vital by-election in Mitiaro on November 11 will be key in bolstering either of the party’s ranks.
Of even greater importance will be who can court the allegiance of One Cook Islands – the upstart political entity formed by Aitutaki MP Teina Bishop prior to July’s general elections that also includes Tupapa MP George Maggie.
“We are a movement that has no closed doors. We have an open door policy,” said Bishop from Aitutaki on Friday when reached on phone.
“I’m ready to sit down and talk,” he said. “And at the end of the day, we need to sit down in Parliament.”
The addition of OCI into the CIP fold would bolster the Party’s support in Parliament and make the Mitiaro by-election irrelevant, as that coalition would consist of 14 MP’s in the 24-member Parliament.
Prime Minister Henry Puna, leader of the CIP, has been out of the country for the past week and unavailable for comment on the situation.
The Demos, on the other side, are looking at the matter as a done deal.
“We’ve got their support ... absolutely,” said Demo Leader Wilkie Rasmussen last Thursday after the release of the Tamarua petition decision.
Regardless of which Party OCI chooses, Bishop said they would carry through on a pre-election pledge and support the government of the day for supply (budgetary matters) and ensure both members would be in Parliament to support quorum (at least 12 out of 24 members must be present for Parliament to function).
Also a subject of speculation amongst political watchers, Bishop has been tight lipped as for possible roles he would play in a potential coalition government, saying he hasn’t really thought about it.
“I’m more interested in policy and what we can achieve,” he said, describing old age pensions and electoral reform as issues of importance.
Despite what has been mentioned in local media reports, Bishop also said OCI is still uncertain as to whether they will be running a candidate in the Mitiaro by-election.
Puna was expected to return to Rarotonga from New York City over the weekend, where he will now be forced to confront this most recent change in the nation’s political situation.     - Emmanuel Samoglou

1 comment

  • Comment Link rahui t  david Monday, 06 October 2014 12:28 posted by rahui t david

    Teina Bishop
    The ball is in your court you are the king maker, if you play your game with the right move, you will be the future PRIME MINISTER and there will be PARTY HOPER group waiting your call. I for one am so proud of your stand for the senior populations you have one big heart and truthful in what you stand for
    CONGRATULATION for the positive future

Leave a comment