6 May 2010

Cooks PM explain House leader sacking

2:55 pm on 6 May 2010

The Prime Minister of the Cook Islands says he sacked the leader of the house, John Tangi, because he switched allegiance to his former deputy, Sir Terepai Moate.

The Democratic Party has been divided since late last year when several cabinet ministers resigned after the Prime Minister Jim Marurai dumped Sir Terepai, who is the party's leader.

The Prime Minister has since resisted recalling parliament to avoid facing a vote of no confidence by the majority of MPs.

Now Mr Marurai says he has sacked Mr Tangi who is also the party secretary, because he has gone against the government.

"He made a comment in the media to the effect that the four members of my cabinet who are trying to reconcile the Democratic Party breakup, he said to the effect that they are no longer a member of the party."

The Prime Minister says a Democratic Party conference will be held next week when he expects the MPs that support him will secure the backing of the constituencies, to try and dismiss the party's executive and leader.