24 Nov 2010

Deputy of Cook Islands Democratic Party blames fuel farm for loss

9:00 am on 24 November 2010

The deputy leader of the Cook Islands Democratic Party is indicating that the sacked finance minister Sir Terepai Maoate carries some of the responsibility for the party's apparent election defeat.

Last week's preliminary election result left the ruling Democratic Party with only eight seats, while the opposition Cook Islands Party secured 15.

Democratic Party deputy leader and current finance minister, Wilkie Rasmussen says a low voter turnout and people's desire for a change were reasons for the result.

But he has also pointed to dissatisfaction with the government's handling of several controversial issues, including having to pay a huge settlement to the Toa petroleum company after failing to buy it out

"In particular the Toagoate issue was one that I don't think really escapes the mind of the public that that had been very poor judgement on behalf of the government. When I say that I mean when Sir Terepai was in government he was the main person responsible for driving that decision."

Wilkie Rasmussen says the Democratic Party could claim two more seats once the final count is in.