3 Sep 2010

A squabble over Cook Islands constituency involving a former Prime Minister worsens

1:15 pm on 3 September 2010

A Cook Islands Democratic Party MP has threatened to walk out on the party in support of his father, Sir Terepai Maoate, whose candidacy for his Rarotonga constituency is being challenged.

Mediation talks are due to be held early next week after a group within the party questioned the legitimacy of Sir Terepai's renomination for the Ngatangiia constituency, accusing him of failing to observe the party's constitution.

Terepai Maoate Jnr says although he has pledged his support to the Democratic Party, he's threatening to leave and run as an independent if it doesn't quickly resolve the matter.

"The leader and the president made the announcement to the media of who the candidates for each constituency is, including my fathers and ours and all except for three. Why are we going back through the process again? I don't understand. And how it should be resolved is once you set the rules, stay on the rules."

Terepai Maoate Jnr says the Democratic Party risks losing supporters to the other main political group, the Cook Islands Party, if the situation escalates.