16 Dec 2004

Cook Islands opposition leader slams speaker appointment

9:22 am on 16 December 2004

The Cook Islands opposition leader has slammed the appointment of Norman George as the new speaker of parliament.

Democratic Party leader Dr Terepai Maoate says the election of Mr George as speaker is a 'political appointment' and he beleives that the former MP will target the opposition.

Mr George was elected as speaker yesterday after a 13-9 vote in his favour over Dr Maoate's nominee, Mauke MP Mapu Taia.

Dr Maoate says that comments about Mr George having a legal background and experience in the political arena did not mean he would make a good speaker.

The Democratic Party leader says many people, including in Mr George's former seat of Atiu, no longer believe that he has the integrity to undertake this very important position.