24 Jun 2016

Norman George takes issue with Cooks Solicitor General

6:55 pm on 24 June 2016

The Cook Islands Queen's Representative, Tom Marsters, is facing criticism that he didn't maintain neutrality in this week's political stand off.

Cook Islands Parliament

Cook Islands Parliament Photo: Supplied

The opposition had claimed to have removed Prime Minister Henry Puna in a no confidence vote, but this was dismissed by the Queen's Representative on the advice of the solicitor general.

But a former parliamentary speaker, Norman George, who is also a lawyer, said the Crown Law office lacks impartiality, because Solicitor General, David James, reports to Mr Puna.

Mr George, who has links with the opposition group, questioned the neutrality and accuracy of the advice from Mr James, and his knowledge of the Cook Islands Constitution.

Mr George said Mr Marsters should have sought advice from the Chief Justice, Tom Weston.

He said the chief justice would have been the obvious choice in this instance, being impartial and unconnected to the government.