21 Jan 2015

Call for reform in Cook Islands

9:10 pm on 21 January 2015

The leader of the Cook Islands Democratic Party says the political system needs widespread reform to avoid a repeat of the past six months of uncertainty following July's general election.

Wilkie Rasmussen says if his Democratic Party and the One Cook Islands Party form a government following the Aitutaki by-election next month they will push for a sweeping review of the current system where close votes can be petitioned in court.

There have been several court petition and counter petitions as well as a discounted by-election since July's vote.

Mr Rasmussen says there will be some hard soul searching over the reforms but once they are implemented an early general election is possible.

"The liklihood of that coalition calling a new election is very high. And of course we hope then that the new political system will come out with a better, and a quicker and efficient way of resolving elections and settling governments".

Wilkie Rasmussen says he suspects current Prime Minister Henry Puna may well be thinking of calling a snap election soon but he questions his capacity to do so given his minority numbers.

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