11 Aug 2005

Dumped Cook Islands deputy PM heartened by party's vote to keep him on as leader

3:32 pm on 11 August 2005

The dumped Cook Islands deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry says he feels buoyed by his party's decision to retain him as their leader.

The Cook Islands Party, whose caucus is meeting this week, has elected its executives for the next year, retaining Sir Geoffrey as leader and Tom Marsters as deputy.

Sir Geoffrey says the Cook Islands Party is as solid as ever, and the response to the Prime Minister's decision to dismiss him has been in favour of himself.

"There was quite a plot being concocted from outside of the party that resulted in my termination on the opening day of our conference (Monday) which was designed to embarass me and to lower my standing in the eyes of the Cook Islands Party people in the hope that I would be removed as the leader. So when the voting took place yesterday it was very heartening, in fact."

Sir Geoffrey Henry says the party has not yet decided on whether to stay in support of the coalition government, but its two or three ministers will remain in the government.