The Queen's Representative in the Cook Islands has dissolved parliament and called an early election in July.
Tom Marsters says he has been advised by the prime minister that early elections are necessary to have an incoming administration in place before next year's 50th anniversary of self-government.
Mr Marsters says an early election will also allow the incoming government to pass an appropriate budget in time for this major event.
The election date has been set for July the 9th.
The term of parliament would have ended in November and elections would have had to be held before February the 17th.