Thirteen Members of Parliament including deputy speaker Brown of Cook Islands Party and Internal Affairs minister Albert Nicholas formed a quorum and went ahead with parliamentary proceedings despite opposition from Clerk of Parliament John Tangi.
Opposition leader Teina Bishop then relieved Tangi of his duties and requested deputy speaker Brown, as per the Standing Orders, to chair the parliamentary session in the absence of speaker Niki Rattle.
During the session, the opposition led by Bishop put a number of motions forward which were seconded by MP for Murienua James Beer and successfully voted in.
Democratic Party leader William Heather moved a motion of no confidence in cabinet which was also passed.
Bishop then moved the motion that “this parliament now respectfully calls upon His Excellency the Queens Representative to appoint the Honourable Rose Toki Brown as the prime minister of the Cook Islands pursuing to Article 13 (2) (A) of the Cook Islands constitution.”
This was also voted in without any objection.
The MPs present at parliament, minus Nicholas, then went to Government House to inform Queens Representative Tom Marsters of the results of the motion that had been passed at parliament.
However, Marsters was not available and CI News understands the opposition coalition members were told to produce proof of the parliamentary sitting before the Queens Representative decided whether to meet them.
FINANCE minister Mark Brown yesterday claimed the Opposition’s actions as a “tutorial session” for them in anticipation of when they might form a government if they won an election.
“There was a ‘mock’ parliament that was held this afternoon with the proceedings being conducted by Norman George from the public gallery,” the minister said.
“Any attempts by the opposition to attempt an actual overthrow of government will be viewed seriously, as this could border on treason.
“I’m not surprised by this move as last night was a full moon and people do strange things at full moon. What I found even more apt was Monday’s daily scripture was about Jesus casting the demons into a herd of swine who ran off a cliff and killed themselves. This is very much like how the opposition are behaving.”
Meanwhile, Bishop maintains the coalition’s actions were legitimate and in accordance with the constitution.
“She (Rose Brown) has been confirmed (as the prime minister) and 13 members of parliament have endorsed what has transpired in writing and that’s what we have provided to the private secretary of His Excellency,” Bishop said.
“If we follow the constitution and the Standing Orders, it’s very legal as far as we are concerned with the advice of various lawyers and former MPs and former speakers.
“They were the ones that gave us the courage to go to the House and do the right thing and of course you can’t defeat the majority in the House.”