10 Sep 2010

Cooks referendum during November election

3:05 pm on 10 September 2010

A national referendum will be held when the Cook Islands has its general elections on November the 17th .

A spokesperson for the Group for Political Change, Lynsay Francis, says the Prime Minister Jim Marurai has confirmed that Cabinet has agreed to hold a one question referendum.

Florence Syme-Buchanan reports.

"The question Cook Islands voters will be asked is whether they agree that the current number of 24 MP's should be reduced. Prime Minister Jim Marurai has also confirmed that the referendum will be binding. This means if the majority of electors choose in favour of reducing the number of MP's, the matter will then be taken to Parliament for MP's to vote on. A two-thirds majority in Parliament is required to enact the referendum. GPC spokesperson Lynsay Francis says they're delighted that Cabinet has finally taken onboard the widespread call for reducing parliamentary numbers. She says GPC will now focus on creating greater awareness of the need to reduce MP numbers to reflect the country's population of 18,000."