25 Aug 2005

Cook Islander vying to lead Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

9:47 am on 25 August 2005

The recently dumped Cook Islands deputy Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry is reportedly vying for the chairmanship of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association.

The Cook Islands News reports that intense lobbying is currently underway behind closed doors by regional leaders on behalf of Sir Geoffrey.

Sir Geoffrey is the only candidate from the region to vie for the prestigious chairmanship which is a three-year appointment.

The election of office bearers will be held in Fiji during the CPA's nine day meeting from September 2nd.

With a total membership of around 15-thousand legislators, CPA exists in nearly 1-hundred 70 parliaments and legislatures, working to support good governance, democracy and human rights.

Sir Geoffrey will be up against the speaker of parliament in the Indian state of West Bengal, Hashim Abdul Halim.

International media have acknowledged that lobbying is under way by some countries, "particularly smaller island nations in the South Pacific, to prop up Sir Geoffrey as a rival to Halim".