29 Jul 2010

Party president asked to sit in gallery in Cook Islands Parliament to ensure unity

3:18 pm on 29 July 2010

The president of the ruling Democratic Party in the Cook Islands has been asked to attend Parliament's sitting tomorrow, to help avoid any party divisions.

The Government's Budget is expected to be tabled.

It is the first parliamentary sitting in nearly eight months because of splits within the Democratic Party and fear of a vote of no confidence.

Our correspondent Florence Syme Buchanan says Cabinet isn't expecting any conflict but has still asked the Democratic Party president, Sean Willis, to attend, as insurance.

"Mr Willis says he's been asked to be present in the public gallery at tomorrow's parliamentary sitting as a sort of insurance against any action by party members that would create a split in the factions. He says after speaking to nearly all democratic party MPs he's expecting democratic party MPs to be onside and confident to get the passage of the budget through parliament. Mr Willis also explained that a motion of no confidence can only be tabled by a cabinet minister after which a 14 day wait is required but he's confident that no such motion is being considered by any member of cabinet."