6 May 2010

Sacked Cooks House leader says ultimatum to PM behind demise

7:02 pm on 6 May 2010

The former Cook Islands House leader says he was sacked because of an ultimatum issued to the Prime Minister's supporters.

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

Last week, Mr Marurai also sacked the leader of the House and Democratic Party secretary, John Tangi, saying he'd switched allegiances to Sir Terepai.

Mr Tangi says the reason for his dismissal was an article carrying his name that clarified the position of Sir Terepai's supporters towards those who continue to back the Prime Minister.

"The ultimatum we gave them was that we have no problem with you coming back to the Democratic Party, but in order to do that you have to tender your resignation from being a Minister of the Crown."

John Tangi says they're taking legal advice about whether they can prevent the Prime Minister's supporters from using the Democratic Party name.