28 Jan 2004

Cook Islands businessman to stand for election to bring about political change

11:42 am on 28 January 2004

A leading Cook Islands businessman, Brett Porter, says a group of independents will be standing for election with the aim of reforming the political system.

He says incumbent politicians have spent too long talking about the need for change without doing anything about it despite people expressing how unhappy they are.

Mr Porter says, if elected, the group plans to reduce the number of MPs from 25 to 17 and to bring about fairer representation for Rarotonga.

And, he says a referendum would be held so that people can make their voices heard.


IN: We'll vote with a group of people that will vote for political change. It's pretty simple, we're saying what we've got at the moment doesn't work, what we've got is unfair. Now, we'll give you the opportunity to articulate what you think will be fair and what will be workable in the future. Now, it's going to be pretty difficult for some of the incumbent politicians to stand up and argue with that.

DUR: 22

Mr Porter says at least three other people will be standing as independents alongside him.

And, he says they will make public their intentions this week.