13 Oct 2006

Two major political parties in Cook Islands differ on sitting of parliament

6:56 am on 13 October 2006

The two major political parties in the Cook Islands have differing views on how their electoral petitions may affect parliament which is scheduled to sit within 90 days after the general election.

Five electoral petitions have been filed, one from the Democratic Alliance Party and four to the Cook Islands Party.

The Demo Party president Makiuti Tongia says Parliament can still meet even if the challenges have not been resolved.

He says this happened in the 2004 general election when some petitions were heard within 90 days and some were not completed until after three or four months.

But CIP spokesman George Turia believes this is not so, which means the budget which was not passed before the snap election was called, could be delayed further with a huge economic impact on the country.

He says this is already affecting some schools who are now facing the risk of closure because there is no money to pay the teachers.