NEW COOK ISLANDS MP WUATAI DUE TO BE SWORN IN FOR PUKAPUKA AND NASSAU

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (November 30, 2000 – Radio Australia)---A new Cook Islands Member of Parliament for the northern islands of Pukapuka and Nassau is due to be sworn in today.

Tiaki Wuatai is a member of the Democratic Alliance Party, the senior partner in the coalition government, winning a September by-election after a final count of votes.

The high court also disallowed nine objections lodged before the by-election, but a new petition lodged by the opposition Cook Islands Party into the by-election is scheduled to be heard on December 15th.

With the support of two independent parliamentarians, the coalition government now holds a two-thirds majority in Parliament, allowing it to carry out political reforms recommended two years ago by an inquiry.

One of the most controversial recommendations is a reduction in the 25-seat Parliament.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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