The deputy leader of Democratic Party in the Cook Islands, Tepure Tapaitau, is playing down suggestions that the party leader may retire as an MP before next month's general elections.
Local reports say Dr Terepai Maoate had thought of retiring altogether, but that he had come under pressure to remain as party leader.
Mr Tapaitau says he has been working closely with Dr Maoate to select the best candidates with the right qualities for the next election.
He says if Dr Maoate was standing down he would be aware of it:
"As far as we are concerned, as far as the party is concerned, those are all rumours and Dr Maoate is still operating as the leader of the Democratic Party at full throttle."
The deputy leader of Democratic Party , Tepure Tapaitau.