9 Aug 2005

Cook Islands deputy PM dumped, new government formed

1:50 pm on 9 August 2005

A new government of national unity is in place in the Cook Islands after the deputy prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry, was dumped.

In his place is now Dr Terepai Maoate, who heads the Democratic Party which was previously in opposition.

The government is now made up of the three members of the Cook Islands First Party, headed by the prime minister, Jim Marurai, the nine MPs of the Democratic party, and three ministers from Sir Geoffrey's Cook Islands Party.

Dr Maoate says he's also taken up the portfolio of the Minister of Finance and his MPs back the move.

"The proposal here is for a government of national unity. So far, Sir Geoffrey has been terminated, asked to resign and I've been appointed to replace him. Meantime, all the other portfolios are still intact. That's the situation at the moment."

Dr Terepai Maoate, the new deputy prime minister.

Members of the Cook Islands Party were unable to be contacted for comment and it's not yet known if all CIP MPs support the dumping of Sir Geoffrey or the new government.