13 Sep 2005

No official word on whether Cooks PM has appointed two new cabinet ministers

8:06 pm on 13 September 2005

There's no official word on whether the Cook Islands prime minister, Jim Marurai, has agreed on the appointment of two new cabinet ministers after meeting his deputy, Dr Terepai Maoate.

Mr Marurai of the minority Cook Islands First party has now sacked three cabinet ministers belonging to the Cook Islands Party.

The first to go - deputy prime minister, Sir Geoffrey Henry - is scheduled to return to Rarotonga on Wednesday after attending a Commonwealth parliamentarians' meeting in Fiji.

Our correspondent in Rarotonga, Jason Brown, says Sir Geoffrey's expected to campaign hard to rally support from MPs of his own party.

"Sir Geoffrey perhaps has the numbers on paper, or at least enough to call a confidence question, but not in reality, he is dependent just as much as government, on one or two key members of parliament, and that's as it has been since 1999."

Jason Brown.