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Term limits eased for Cook Islands Democratic party leaders

Wednesday 5 April 2023 | Written by Matthew Littlewood | Published in National, Politics


Term limits eased for Cook Islands Democratic party leaders
Opposition Leader Tina Browne. PHOTO: KATRINA TANIRAU. 20022835

A new remit for the Cook Islands Democratic Party will relax the four-year term limit for its leaders.

The party held its Annual General Meeting at Tamarind House on Thursday last week.

Leader Tina Browne said it was a largely positive experience, even allowing for discussion on their election results last year. The party won five seats in the August 2022 general election, well below the 11 it won in the 2018 general election.

“I think there was renewed energy at the meeting, there was a lot of robust discussion,” Browne said.

“There’s a lot to do going forward.”

Among the remits passed in the conference was a rethink of the party’s constitution, which at the moment enshrine a four-year term limit for Party leaders, regardless of whether the Party is in opposition or government.

However, Browne said a remit was passed allowing the party to relax the fixed-term at a conference hearing. The provision comes into place in 2025.

“There was some discussion about the need to make the constitution a bit more flexible when it comes to setting term limits,” Browne said.

Browne has been leader of the Cook Islands Democratic Party since 2017.

She was confirmed Member of Parliament of the Cook Islands in December 21, 2018 following the Rakahanga petition, and sworn Member of Parliament on April 9, 2019. She was re-elected as MP for Rakahanga in the August 2022 elections.

In the election of administrative positions for the Cook Islands Democratic Party on Thursday, Lee Harmon was elected president.

Meanwhile, Sholan Ivaiti, Sammy Mataroa and Junior Maoate wre elected as vice-presidents of the party, while Davina Hosking-Ashford was elected treasurer.

“It’s a robust executive, most of them are new to their roles, and it looks like a strong team,” Browne said.

“The meeting in general was steered towards the positive, we talked a lot about what we can learn from the last election.”