6 Jun 2005

Niue MP opposes government proposal to increase cabinet and lengthen term of parliament

3:24 pm on 6 June 2005

An opposition MP in Niue says the public will not support government proposals to increase the size of the cabinet and lengthen the term of parliament from three years to five.

Terry Coe says people are already saying that the country needs to reduce the number of politicians, not add two more ministers as proposed by the premier, Young Vivian.

Mr Coe says it will cost Niue an additional 70,000 U.S. dollars to increase the cabinet to six and the constitution states quite clearly that there should be four ministers only.

And, he says on Niue, any changes to the constitution requires a referendum to be put to the public.

"He will not be able to get them through the people because the people are already saying there's too many politicians at the moment. So, I don't see how he's going to put that through which will convince the people that it's really necessary."

Mr Coe says changes to the constitution to add the extra ministers and lengthen the parliamentary term must be approved by a two-thirds majority in the public referendum as well as by a two-thirds majority of MPs.