‘Clean’ offer could tempt Nicholas

Monday July 04, 2016 Written by Published in Politics

IF THE opposition coalition were to offer him deputy prime ministership, Internal Affairs minister Albert Nicholas says he’d take it, providing the offer was made in “nice clean circumstances.”

 

And those circumstances, he says, would not involve negotiations “held in dark rooms, decisions made behind closed doors, with strings attached.”

Nicholas thinks a “nice clean offer” is one made by a political party when they’re unhappy with their leadership: “the feeling that for the party, the country and the government to move forward smoothly, maybe a leadership change is in order.”

The RAPPA MP says he wants to make it clear that he’s not interested in “…some bunch of snakes doing some shady documents and bribery in dark corners in the middle of the night. My father didn’t bring me up like that.”

Nicholas’ father, the late Albert (Peto) was a Cook Islands Party MP voted in 1994 in the Ruatonga, Avatiu, Palmerston, Panama and Atupa (RAPPA) constituency.

Nicholas believes the opposition coalition is ranking him second to MP Rose Brown to get offered a top job in an effort to win him back to the Democratic party ranks and gain another vote to oust the government.

Nicholas, 42, says he and Brown “have always been a good team”.

“Personally, I don’t want us tainted with all the nonsense that politicians are normally  tainted with.”

Asked if he’d ever taken part in political scheming and closed door meetings, Nicholas admits he’s “dabbled” in it.

“It was just to see what’s out there and I can tell you it’s not something I enjoy. It’s not the way I like to do things.”

Nicholas concedes that he may have been “a bit naïve” at the start of his political career when voted in as a first term MP in 2014. Naïve, he says in the sense that he’d thought, “I could change things, but obviously it’s not as easy as I once thought it was.”

Asked how he thought the current political situation should be resolved, Nicholas doesn’t think there are any legal issues for the government to answer. He’s accepted the statement issued by the Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters that parliament was correctly adjourned on June 17 and that and the Monday sitting was out of line.

He says if people were truly unhappy with the government and its leadership which some politicians are claiming, he believes people would march about it.

“It seems there are only particular individuals and interest groups that are unhappy,” he added in apparent reference to the Grey Power and anti-purse seining protest marches.

“It seems there are many concerns, but to me, it’s not to an extent that would require something like the recent (parliamentary) events to take place.”

So does he think the opposition coalition will come back to him with an offer, given he thinks he’s ranked second favourite?

“You need to ask Teina (Bishop, the just-resigned opposition coalition leader), that. You need to ask the architect of this whole thing and he’s the architect. Some say it’s the Demos, I don’t think so. He is”.

Speaking of MP Bishop, the minister says “nobody knows what’s in his mind except himself. And I think that’s part of the problem.”

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