With the support of their coalition partners in the government, deputy prime minister and CIP deputy leader Mark Brown said they were optimistic about remaining in power until the next general election in 2022.
After losing the Rakahanga seat, CIP now has nine seats and with the support of the two independents Robert Tapaitau and Rose Brown alongside George Maggie of One Cook Islands, the government’s total comes to 12.
The Democratic Party has 11 seats with Tina Browne set to be confirmed the new Member of Parliament for Rakahanga after the Court of Appeal decision went in her favour.
A lot will be at stake for both parties in the Ivirua by-election which will be held on January 21. The Demos held the seat until the death of their MP Tony Armstrong last month.
Brown said they were quite confident with their team.
He said they have been aware of the current scenario for a while and have been working on ensuring they maintain the majority to remain in power.
“For us, our government team, the CIP and our coalition members, we are in a very comfortable position right now. We have been having good talks with all of our members to assure them of our strengths,” Brown said.
“We look forward to the outcome of the Ivirua by-election where they stand but I’m very happy where we are as a government and I’m confident that we will remain government for the remainder of this term. Nobody wants to see any changes from our side of our coalition so we will do everything to ensure we run a good clean campaign in Ivirua and manage the numbers in our camp all the way through to the remainder of this term.”
The hotly contested Ivirua seat with a voting population of just over 80 will see a four-way battle ensue.
Agnes Armstrong, the wife of former Ivirua MP, the late Tony Armstrong, is one of the four candidates contesting the by-election on Mangaia. She will run under the banner of the Democratic Party.
Former deputy prime minister with the CIP government, Teariki Heather, is also vying for the seat under the banner of the newly-formed Cook Islands United Party.
Daryl Rairi will stand for the CIP, while Jason Teremoana will contest as an independent.