21 Jun 2016

Political boilover in the Cook Islands - accusations fly

1:22 pm on 21 June 2016

The opposition coalition in the Cook Islands claims it has legitimately voted the Henry Puna government out of office.

The (Cooks) Cook Islands Parliament in session

The Cook Islands Parliament in session Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

But the Finance Minister, Mark Brown, has called its actions illegal and bordering on treason.

Our correspondent said the opposition was trying to seek a meeting with the Queen's Representative saying it had toppled Mr Puna in a vote of no confidence.

The opposition coalition had claimed at the weekend that the Speaker Nikki Rattle had failed to properly close the session last Friday, giving it the opportunity to hold the vote, which it had hoped would have occurred last week.

A vote was held at parliament today and with several ministers out of the country, was successful.

But Mr Brown said the government had properly followed parliament's rules and the session last Friday was correctly shut down.

He said the 13 opposition MPs may be investigated for criminal offences in relation to their actions today.