14 Jun 2006

Cooks coalition upbeat after long parliamentary break

3:51 pm on 14 June 2006

Members of the Coalition government in the Cook Islands are sounding confident ahead of this year's opening session of parliament.

The coalition seems unlikely to change despite a by-election last week in one of the outer islands - won by the Speaker of Parliament, Norman George.

Jason Brown reports from Rarotonga.

"This week will see the first parliament sitting in the Cook Islands in more than 8 months. Parliament adjourned last October 11th and there have been numerous rumours since then of a house coup - notably in March - at the time prime minister, Jim Marurai admitted that was he was not calling a new sitting - leading to the longest break anyone could remember. Now, however, Mr Marurai coalition government is sounding rare confidence - and talking of voting out its newest member, Norman George, as speaker. There is another by-election on the way - but its in a seat the majority partner in the ruling coalition is has held for years."