10 May 2004

Cook Island Democrats leader wants focus on party unity

3:51 pm on 10 May 2004

The leader of the Cook Islands' ruling party says the Democrats will look to have more members standing for seats in the general election later this year.

Speaking after members voted to retain him as leader, Doctor Terepai Maoate says the Democrats

must focus on unity to avoid the instability of recent coalition governments.

Dr Maoate only just managed to stave off a challenge from his successor as prime minister, Doctor Robert Woonton, with the ballot split 26-24 in favour of Doctor Maoate.

Doctor Maoate says the next step is to get more Democrats contesting seats...

"Because we should try and get away from these coalition governments which have been very unstable sort of kind of governing as shown by the five coalitions during the term. So we want to get the unity of the party strong. And we all realise that for the previous three elections we have failed because of this kind of flitting between party members."

Doctor Terepai Maoate