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Rose goes back to CIP

Monday June 19, 2017 Written by Published in Politics

In a shock move, former Opposition parliamentary leader Rose Brown has rejoined the ranks of the government.


Her return to the Cook Islands Party fold has been blamed on the way the opposition Democratic Party has dealt with the member for Teenui-Mapumai.

Yesterday it was reported the Democrats had moved to return William “Smiley” Heather to the leadership role in parliament. That has yet to be agreed to by a majority in the Opposition caucus, which needs seven votes.

Brown and her husband Taoro had a meeting yesterday morning with the “whole CIP team”, which welcomed back the pair “with open arms”.

It is understood negotiations between Brown and the ruling party “were a very sudden thing” and only took place 12 hours before the meeting at which they had been “welcomed back unconditionally”.

According to a CIP source “It was a very happy occasion for us.”

The unnamed party member said he was “really disgusted with the way the Democratic Party had dealt with Rose”.

“They used her when her number mattered and when it didn’t they just discarded her.

“I think it is disgraceful.”

Brown’s return will be seen as a coup for the government, although insiders have told this reporter that the door had always been open for her to return to the CIP.

A source said: “What precipitated it was the Democratic Party removing her as leader of the Opposition.”

Brown is understood to have then begun talking to some members of the CIP caucus to test the waters and then went to meet its Members of Parliament and the prime minister.

“For the pair to come back and apologise took a lot of courage on their part.”

The source said the party saw that welcoming her back was the right thing to do.

A Democratic Party member said they were disappointed with her leaving the Opposition, but added it was not surprising, given the way she had been treated. 

“I am sad for her, but I respect her decision. Her decision has got to involve her and her constituency. If they have asked to go back then she has at least respected the wishes of her people.

“If you haven’t been looked after on that side, go back.”