Nicholas is back, ready for elections

Tuesday June 12, 2018 Written by Published in Politics
Internal Aff airs minister Albert Nicholas at his family house in Avatiu yesterday. 18061107 Internal Aff airs minister Albert Nicholas at his family house in Avatiu yesterday. 18061107

Internal Affairs minister and Cook Islands Party candidate Albert Nicholas is back in Rarotonga, well and ready to serve the people of his RAPPA constituency for another term.

Nicholas, who was diagnosed with serious medical condition resulting in blood poisoning, had been under close observation at the Auckland hospital for the past couple of weeks.

His absence from the country generated plenty of interest, with rumours speculating that Nicholas would not be fit enough to stand in the 2018 elections which will be held on Thursday.

In an interview with the CI News yesterday, Nicholas said it had been a very challenging month for him concerning his medical condition.

He said his condition was very serious and he had to seek medical attention from New Zealand to recover from the illness.

“Against what some critics have been saying, these are health concerns not brought upon myself, but issues that have come upon me due to me trying to seek medical help for something as minor as a centipede bite,” Nicholas said.

“That’s how everything started. But in that process of trying to get the centipede bite attended to, along the way I contracted something which turned out to be very, very dangerous and deadly to me. I contracted a bacterial infection which caused me to have blood poisoning. 

“I did not ask to be in this situation. I do realise it has come at a time not only crucial to our country - election time, but also crucial to myself personally concerning my re-election.

“But I would like to put out there to my supporters and all my critics, I am much, much stronger than I have ever been. I’m not saying physically stronger but rather mentally stronger, astute and tough.

“Who knows, maybe this incident is a way of preparing me for the future in this role.”

Nicholas accused the Democratic Party of spinning the whole story regarding his health out of “context and control, claiming it to be many other things other than the fact itself”.

He said it was unfortunate some individuals had chosen to use his delicate health condition to gain political advantage heading into the polls.

“It’s sad that any political party or any individual for that matter would take something serious to an individual and try to make a political gain out of it. The fact of the matter is, what I had was very serious.

“In fact, when I decided to take myself to Auckland hospital against the advice of the medical system here (it) was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

“Upon checking myself into Auckland hospital, the medical team there advised me that if I had been one day later checking myself in, I wouldn’t be sitting here, making this statement right this moment.”

Nicholas, who missed out on his Avatiu rally, said since his return home late last week, he had been meeting with people in his community and assuring them of the good things he has planned for them for the next four years.

He is encouraged by the support from his people and says he is looking forward to a positive response from them in the elections.

“After mass yesterday (Sunday), I took a walk through the whole village and met people on the road. People were surprised to see that I was still alive,” Nicholas said.

“I even met people who told me that they were informed that I was dying in hospital, and their votes for me would be a waste. But the fact that they saw me walking, proved to them that critics and my opposition in the community and the village had been lying to them, which is not a surprise.

“I’m here, wonderfully alive and looking forward to serving my community. I think we have done a wonderful job for our community over the last couple of months and I think we have done a wonderful job for our country as a whole.

“We have done well for the youth of this country through the child benefit scheme by increasing the benefit and increasing the age benefit as well, which is coming very soon.

“I think we have done well for our elderly through the New Zealand portability pension scheme which was headed by myself personally and I sat in the New Zealand parliament and ensured that they passed that legislation.

“These are things I have personally ensured it happened for the benefit of this great and wonderful country of ours.

“We have achieved so many things so far and we intend to do so many things even further for our community and our nation.”

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