Rasmussen stands behind Demo leaders

Monday March 12, 2018 Published in Letters to the Editor
Office of the leader of the Opposition chief executive, Wilkie Rasmussen. 18031102 Office of the leader of the Opposition chief executive, Wilkie Rasmussen. 18031102

Dear Editor,


A big "meitaki poria" to the writer promoting my involvement in the Democratic Party and in the Opposition.

The situation, however, is quite clear. Tina Browne is the elected leader of the Democratic Party at its last conference. She replaced William Heather Jnr (Smiley) who succeeded me after my resignation from Demo leader after the 2014 elections. So the line-up is quite clear. Tina is Demo leader, Smiley is Demo deputy leader and the current leader of the Opposition.

While I thank the writer for their confidence in me, I am nothing more than just the chief administrator of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.

And I am a staunch supporter of the Democratic Party, playing my part to make it the next government of the Cook Islands. I am but one of the cogs in the wheel in the Democratic Party machinery - something the writer and I probably have in common.

Smiley is my mate and will always be.

He is a strong leader. He is a man with a big heart and strong in his identity as a Maori Cook Islander. He is currently my boss and gets my vote to be the leader of the Opposition. I respect the status quo because it has been created legitimately. And I am always hopeful my influence is to attract Cook Islanders to believe in the Democratic Party as the next government.

Secondly, in response to "Political Observer", my sentiments exactly. That is for a Cook Islander to head the Electoral Commission. I have always been a strong advocate for Cook Islanders to hold top positions in our country and this is no exception.

My reference to a New Zealand judge as the most ideal person to head such a Commission was an illustration of the need for independence and neutrality.

I am also aware that the current Cook Islands High Court Chief Justice, Sir Hugh Williams, is chairman of the New Zealand Electoral Commission and he well versed with Cook Islands Electoral laws etc.

That's to start the process, a process long overdue due to the conflicts of our MPs.

            Wilkie Rasmussen

            Chief executive for the Office of the Leader of the Opposition

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