5 Jul 2003

Cooks opposition wants seat vacancies clarified

9:17 am on 5 July 2003

The opposition Cook Islands Party has asked the Attorney General to file an application for a declaratory judgement as to whether the two seats held by MP's Norman George and Paora Teiti are now vacant

This comes after an audit office determined that as MPs they received a pay and should not be allowed to get more income from the government.

A Cook Islands Party spokesman, Wilkie Rasmussen, says Mr George had received an additional 26-thousand US as a consultant.

And he says he is uncertain whether Paora Teiti's allocation was authorised.

"They are members of parliament who are paid salaries by the civil list. Now they had received other monies from the government that questions the appropriateness of them receiving that money and when it does you've got to ask as provided by the law whether they are public servants or whether they are members of parliament."

Mr Rasmussen says he believes to be a member of parliament and have another job for the crown is not acceptable and a conflict of interest.

He says if attorney general Dr Terepai Maoate fails to act, then the Cook Islands Party will.