Print this page

‘Smiley’ steps back into old role

Friday June 16, 2017 Written by Published in Politics
William “Smiley” Heather pictured in parliament in December 2015. Heather is the MP for Ruaau. 17061504 William “Smiley” Heather pictured in parliament in December 2015. Heather is the MP for Ruaau. 17061504

William “Smiley” Heather has been reappointed the parliamentary leader of the opposition, ahead of the opening parliamentary session for the year, starting on Monday.

 

Heather, the former Democratic Party and the opposition leader, takes over the reins from Rose Brown, who was appointed to the post in July last year.

Teenui-Mapumai MP Brown, who won the 2014 general elections under the Cook Islands Party banner, joined the opposition last year.

She was appointed as parliamentary opposition leader after former Aitutaki MP Teina Bishop was found guilty and jailed on corruption-related charges.

Bishop, the leader of the One Cook Islands “movement” which has formed a coalition with the Democratic Party in opposition, briefly held the parliamentary opposition leader’s post from March to July last year.

He won the post after managing to win sufficient numbers to take over leadership from Heather.

Bishop resigned from the post before he was found guilty by the Cook Islands High Court of corruption as a former Minister of the Crown under the CIP government.

The Democratic Party underwent a party leadership change earlier this year which saw lawyer Tina Browne taking over the top job. And now Heather has been reappointed to lead them in parliament.

The opposition office yesterday confirmed his appointment but efforts to get an official statement from them proved futile.

Democratic Party leader Browne was not available to make a comment yesterday and numerous calls made to Heather remained unanswered.