7 Apr 2004

Outer Cook islands mayors upset over decision to postpone local elections

3:48 pm on 7 April 2004

The mayor of the Cook islands outer island of Atiu says the attorney general should be sued over a cabinet decision to postpone local elections.

Aneru Tautu says the outer island mayors have been informed that they're being deferred until after the general elections later this year, despite the law stating they must be held by the end of this month.

Mr Tautu says no reason has been given for the decision and it means that the outer islands will be left in limbo.

"We have no right to decide on anything, the budget is no longer our responsibility and the direction and policies of the islands, we cannot be formulating it any longer. I think what will happen during then is we'll be left in limbo. Who has authority when it comes to that time on the first of May? Probably will remain with the island secretary and the members of parliament - maybe that's really what's been pushed."

Mr Tautu says people are frustrated that decisions are being taken in Rarotonga without consulting the outer islands.

Attempts to contact the attorney general were unsuccessful.