13 Dec 2004

Cook Islands Democratic party in talks in attempt to form government

4:54 pm on 13 December 2004

The leader of the Cook Islands Democratic party, Dr Terepai Maoate, says it is talking with the Demo Tumu party in an attempt to gain the numbers to form a government.

Parliament is to meet in two days time to elect a new prime minister and form a government following the dissolution of the caretaker administration after the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, stepped down from his seat of Manihiki in the wake of a recount.

Dr Maoate says there's some resistance to the proposal as the Demo Tumu, which was formed by Dr Woonton, had formed a coalition with the Cook Islands party.

"They have considered to come back and form a government with us. But, one or two of them are not in favour of doing that. So, at the moment, I'm not sure what they have in mind regarding that."

Dr Maoate says the Democratic party has nine MPs, the Demo Tumu has three, the Cook Islands party, or CIP, can count on ten and there's one independent.

If the coalition holds, the CIP and the Demo Tumu with a combined thirteen MPs out of the 24 seat house, will be able to form a new government.