30 Nov 2010

Cooks party doubts referendum wording

7:32 pm on 30 November 2010

The victorious Cook Islands Party says a referendum on reducing the number of seats in parliament may not have even been asking the right question.

The referendum attracted 59.2 percent support for reducing the number of seats, short of the two-thirds majority required for the government to bring it to parliament.

The Cook Islands Party has been critical of the referendum, saying it had only been discussed properly in Rarotonga.

Its vice-president Mark Brown is also doubtful that it posed the right question to voters

"Well we believe the question that was posed in the referendum was very poorly thought out. The underlying issue that people have is not so much with the number of MPs there are, but more so with the performance of members of parliament, and the performance of the government so there is a governance issues, as well as parliamentary issues which I don't think was adequately covered in the referendum question."

Mark Brown says the party's leader Henry Puna will be sworn in as Prime Minister today.