POLL BAD NEWS FOR COOK ISLANDS POLITICIANS

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AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (June 18, 2002 - Cook Islands News/PINA Nius Online)---Three years after the 1999 general election and four different government line-ups later, there’s bad news for the country¹s MPs.

An overwhelming number of people interviewed in a Cook Islands News street poll in Avarua said that they were basically fed up with the chopping and changing of politicians.

"They [the MPs] are a waste of time. It’s a waste of time having another election. They’re not doing anything productive. They are just changing plans all the time," said one frustrated person.

"Let’s just abolish Parliament and let the people run the country."

Cook Islands News interviewed 50 people and asked them the following three questions.

Seventy-two percent (36 people) said that they were not happy with the way things have turned out since June 1999.

Only 10 percent (five people) were positive about the state of the nation over the past three years

Fifty-eight percent (29 people) felt that Prime Minister Dr. Robert Woonton’s coalition government would not see out the rest of the Parliamentary term and 22 of them said the country should go back to the polls.

"E tano ei [too right]," said a few.

"Five years is too long," "people are sick of all this changing," "show their loyalty to the people who elected them," were just a few comments which went with the responses.

In 1999 Sir Geoffrey Henry formed a union with the Norman George-led New Alliance Party. But he found himself on the outs when he was replaced by Overseas MP Dr. Joe Williams, who took over as Prime Minister at the end of July 1999.

Dr. Williams’ Cook Islands Party-dominated government only lasted until November, after the New Alliance Party left and joined up with Dr. Terepai Maoate’s Democratic Alliance Party.

George was sacked as deputy Prime Minister in July last year and caused instability in the Democratic Alliance Party/New Alliance Party coalition.

A new coalition was formed in February of this year when Dr. Maoate was replaced by Dr. Woonton and another grouping of Democratic Alliance Party, Cook Islands Party and New Alliance Party MPs.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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