27 Jun 2003

By-election to follow death of Cook islands MP

10:17 am on 27 June 2003

A by-election in the Cook Islands constituency of Ruaau will be held soon following the death of memver of parliament, Maria Heather, this week after a short illness.

Maria Heather had been serving her first term of Parliament after winning her seat in the 1999 general election.

She was Leader of the House and Undersecretary to the Minister of Internal Affairs and Works.

The Cook islands parliament is due to resume this afternoon and Speaker, Dr Pupuke Robati is likely to declare her seat vacant.

Parliament is reported to have about 50 bills waiting for debate but it is thought unlikely that many of these will be dealt with in the current session.

The Cook Islands parliament has sat just 12 time this year.