17 Aug 2005

Cook Islands faces possible by-election

10:13 am on 17 August 2005

Another by-election is likely in the Cook Islands as long serving member of

parliament, Upoko Simpson, considers stepping down before his full four

year term ends in 2008.

The Cook Islands News reports that Simpson, the MP for Teenui-Mapumai is currently in Atiu and could not be contacted, however, a close family member confirmed the pending resignation

Upoko Simpson is a member of the Cook Islands First Party led by prime minister Jim Marurai.

The paper says intense lobbying is underway by Simpson's party for other political parties not to field a candidate in the by-election.

It notes that in April this year speaker of parliament and CI First member

Norman George confirmed that he had been approached to consider standing in

a by-election if ever Simpson decided to step down.

The paper also says that the Democratic Party is already making plans for a by-election and will be fielding a candidate when the time comes.