Democratic Party president Sean Willis said he wants to make it clear that William Framhein was never the chief of staff or chief executive officer of the party – he was an office employee.
Willis said he was shocked when he heard about the original controversial Facebook post made by Framhein on the party’s page from Mona Ioane Junior’s funeral service where serious allegations were made against Cabinet Minister George Angene.
However, Willis was on one of the Pa Enua when the post was uploaded and by the time he returned to Rarotonga, it had been taken down.
“When I got the call I was disappointed, but we didn’t know who had put it up until William made a statement saying he was the author of the post,” he said.
“Our party held a meeting on Wednesday night and questions were raised about where this information about William being the CEO and chief of staff came from.
“We only have three leaders: myself as president, vice president Tupou Faireka and leader of the party Tina Browne. William never held a leadership position.”
Framhein handed his resignation into party leader Tina Browne on Monday, but the announcement wasn’t made until Tuesday night via a Facebook post on the party’s page.
Browne said Framhein’s formal resignation had avoided possible escalation of a “very unfortunate issue” and she was pleased it had been resolved by Framhein himself.
In that post however Framhein was once again referred to as the party’s CEO, which was inaccurate, Willis said.
The pressure for Framhein to step down from his position came after a controversial post from the funeral service of Mona Ioane Junior making serious allegations against MP George Angene.
Public outcry on social media followed with hundreds of people condemning the author of the post and sharing it on multiple Facebook pages.
Originally Framhein categorically denied being responsible for the post, even though he was one of administrators of the party’s page. He also lied to police about being the author of the post.
But in a statement to Cook Islands News he admitted being the author and said he initially didn’t because of threats that he and his family had received, including a photo of a machete.
Willis said he felt Framhein had made the best decision for the party and himself, by handing in his resignation and wanted to thank him for his services and wished him the best for the future.
He hoped that through Framheim’s resignation, the party could get on business at hand.
“We want to put this unfortunate situation to rest and get on with it,” he said.