24 Nov 2010

George hints at strife within winning Cooks Party

3:42 pm on 24 November 2010

The veteran Cook Islands politician Norman George says he will not roll over if he's excluded from the cabinet of the new government.

The former speaker's Cook Islands Party has secured 15 seats after the preliminary count in last week's election, while the ruling Democratic Party only has eight.

There's been speculation in local media that Mr George is demanding the position of deputy prime minister in the new government and has already held talks with the Democratic Party regarding a possible coalition if he does not gain the post.

Mr George denies he has talked with the Democrats or that he is demanding the deputy prime minister's job.

But he says he is facing being left out of cabinet, and he will consider all options if this happens

"I'm not going to stand around and wait for good manners to be restored. We'll wait and see what happens. I'm interested to see what the outcome is if I make it to cabinet, I may not because I'm already facing quite a few internal resistance from the Cook Islands Party hardcore."

Norman George says he has served in cabinet many times before but it will be for the prime minister to decide whether he needs his experience.