The former Leader of the Opposition claims the much anticipated attempted coup died because “my friend Henry (Puna) is our version of the Great Houdini – a famous escape artist.”
In his regular Cook Islands News opinion column on page 4 today, Rasmussen says:
“Probably, oblivious to most Cook Islanders but alive and well in the political circus, Prime Minister Henry Puna and his cohorts had it coming. With Albert Nicholas absent from Parliament, the stage was set. From the CIP rank and file were two or three defectors primed to hop, skip and jump into a new Government – an assortment of nine Democrats, two One Cook Islands MPs and two or three CIP defectors.
“It would have been truly a “national unity coalition”, a desire once harboured by PM Puna and several proponents of a collective of MPs making up a Cook Islands unity government. But in this instance Puna was not in the equation. He was the bulwark to castigate and expel. His throne was to go to one from his enclosure.
“As my learned friend would say, ‘it all turned to custard’ or ‘it turned pear shaped’ – pardon the sexist pun here. Indeed, in the aftermath, fingers were pointed here and there, names were thrown about as to who squealed and why did the DIP defectors pike out? And of course what on earth happened?
“As it has been with these secret political deals and treacherous behaviour, no-one really knew how the coup was foiled to let Henry Puna escape and live again. One time, I said my friend Henry is our version of the Great Houdini, a famous escape artist. With such a thin margin, Henry again managed to hold together his team despite stats and facts of alleged corruption, financial abuse, and nepotism levelled against him and his government. How does he do it? I guess there is one consolation for those that had their dream busted, Houdini on that one time too many drowned and died. Maybe, Henry’s comeuppance will surely come, perhaps not by force but by the polls.”