8 Mar 2004

Cook Islands Democrats say Atiu to choose election candidate

4:21 pm on 8 March 2004

The Democratic Party president in the Cook Islands, Iaveta Short, says it's up to the Atiu constituency to choose the party's candidate for the next election.

This follows a row over who should be running for the Tengatangi Areora Ngatiarua seat.

He says the constituency has written a letter to name Eugene Tatuava as candidate but Norman George, who currently holds the seat, has questioned the significance of the letter.

Mr Short says he will only intervene in the selection process as a last resort.

"The position that I took as president is that if there is a conflict, then we expect the constituency to deal with the conflict, which basically means if there are two factions, they ought to meet again and try and resolve the problem and the party will only intervene if the constituency request the party's involvement, and then we will then try and broker a peace settlement of the issue."

Iaveta Short, The Cook Islands Democratic Party president.

Norman George has declined to comment.