19 Nov 2010

Puna credits win to Cook Democrats' infighting

2:33 pm on 19 November 2010

The man who looks set to become the next leader of the Cook Islands is pointing to dissatisfaction with the infighting of the Democratic Party as the main reason for its demise.

With advance votes still to be counted following yesterday's election, the Cook Islands Party has 15 seats, the Democratic Party has eight, and one seat is tied.

The Cook Islands Party leader Henry Puna says he feels inspired and excited by the mandate his party has been given.

He says they have a good balance of experience and youthful enthusiasm, and are committed to achieving things for the country.

But he says discontent with the ruling Democratic Party was the foremost reason for its loss.

"Our people have just been sick and tired of the lack of leadership from our previous government. Instead they have been too busy fighting each other and not getting things done for the country and then when they did manage to get things done they succeeded in screwing up a lot of things including the wasteful exercise with the fuel farm."

Henry Puna says his government's priorities will include introducing high standards of governance, particularly regarding the use of public money.