Following the resignation of former leader, One Cook Islands (OCI) party’s Teina Bishop before he was found guilty by the jury in corruption related charges, the opposition coalition made a unanimous decision to appoint MP Rose as their new leader. The deputy Speaker of Parliament, who over a month ago was a valuable member of the governing Cook Islands Party (CIP), crossed the floor to join the opposition coalition in an attempt to overthrow the Henry Puna-led government last month. She was also nominated the prime minister by the opposition in a controversial parliament sitting on June 20. By appointing the CIP rookie as their leader, Brown said the Democratic Party and OCI opposition coalition were looking to the future.
“It’s not surprising that the Demo Party, who admit that they have failings within their own organisation in the ability to be able to lead themselves, have to look outside and bring in one of the CIPs newest members to take on the role as the leader of the opposition.
“They have chosen to disregard their current crop of politicians and pick somebody totally outside from their organisation to lead them. They need to be congratulated on their selection.” Minister Brown said they were disappointed with the appointment.
“We regard Rose as one of the shining stars within our organisation to the extent that she was being groomed for the last two years for more senior positions in the future.”
He said as the deputy speaker, MP Rose was under the mentorship of Speaker Nikki Rattle, attending a number of parliamentary conferences overseas.
“Upcoming and new MPs were also invited to join the prime minister on things like state visits to New Zealand where they sat in on the meetings that we had with the New Zealand prime minister. This was to give them an opportunity to start learning the art of statesmanship.”
Meanwhile the CIP is expecting a decision soon from Rose Brown’s husband Taoro on his position as the party vice-president.
“I think he is now holding a position that will be untenable for him and we would expect him to make a decision on his role within the party after it’s clearly been announced that his wife is now the leader of the parliamentary opposition,” Brown said.