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MP’s choice of CIP surprises some

Wednesday July 11, 2018 Written by Published in Politics

The appointment of Tupapa Maraerenga MP George Maggie to cabinet last week came as a surprise to some Cook Islands political pundits, who predicted the MP for Tupapa-Maraerenga would instead join with the Democratic Party to form a government.

In 2016, One Cook Islands movement leader Teina Bishop was convicted and sentenced to a little over two years’ imprisonment after being found guilty of corruption while serving as a Minister of the Crown.

At the time the incident over which he was charged occurred, Bishop held Ministry of Marine Resources portfolio in a Cook Islands Party government. Many doubted his party would once again support the CIP.

Now, Bishop says he still stands by an earlier comment that the best way for the country to move forward is for the government to have a majority over 13 seats.

“Any less than that is too fragile and vulnerable.”

“(Now) you have a government being governed by two independents at number 12 and number 13” Bishop says of the CIP-led “caretaker government”.

“There’s still six petitions to deal with…we’re not out of the game yet.”

A total of six petitions were filed following the final election results. The Demos filed four petitions in the seats of Rakahanga, Murienua, Pukapuka-Nassau, and Avatiu-Ruatonga-Palmerston. The CIP filed a single petition for the seat of Ngatangiia, whilst OCI filed a petition for the seat of Mauke. Tungane Williams lost the Mauke seat to the CIP’s Tai Tura by just one vote.

Bishop would not disclose his party’s plan should the Mauke result be overturned.

“That’s for me to know and for you to find out.”