26 Aug 2010

Cooks cabinet considers November referendum on political reform

3:24 pm on 26 August 2010

Cabinet ministers in the Cook Islands have this week been discussing the possibility of holding a national referendum on political reform during the November general elections.

The Prime Minister Jim Marurai is also holding talks with political reform group Mou Piri and lobbyists before making a final submission for Cabinet approval.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Register General in charge of the elections, Mark Short, says the electoral committee is concerned about the time constraints.

"If they are going to make some changes and we are going to have to include a referendum in the ballot papers, we would need to make sure the wording is accurate. We obviously need to educate and inform the public as well. Because they need to know what the meaning of this referendum is and what the points are. And we also need to ensure that we have this in time for the press when it goes to print."

Mark Short says the Electoral Committee would only be prepared to include a referendum during the elections if it fits within the time frame given.