25 Sep 2010

Cook Islands parliament dissolved as country heads for November elections

10:38 am on 25 September 2010

The Cook Islands parliament will be formally dissolved today, as the country heads towards general elections on November the 17th.

One of the two main parties, the Cook Islands Party, will use the date of the dissolution of Parliament to release its election manifesto, while the Democratic Party will release its next week.

Our correspondent, Florence Syme Buchanan, says a caretaker government will take over from now.

She says on Rarotonga, six independent candidates have so far confirmed they will contest the poll.

"That's a record number of independents ever to contest a general election in the Cook Islands. And some interesting statements are appearing in the media from the various candidates. Probably the most vocal amongst them is the local lawyer Tim Arnold who speaks of the need for [an] overall upgrade to our system of government."

Florence Syme Buchanan reporting from Rarotonga.