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Dumped by Democrats, Maoate to run as independent

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Oct. 7, 2010) – The former Cook Islands Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate, has confirmed he’ll stand as an independent in next month’s general election.

Sir Terepai, who’s been a stalwart member of the ruling Democratic Party, says at a meeting last night his constituents asked him not to give up and so he accepted their request to run as an independent.

The announcement follows a run-off in Sir Terepai’s Ngatangiia constituency after which a political newcomer, Mann Short, replaced him as the party’s candidate.

Sir Terepai says party leaders asked him to remain loyal to the party.

"It’s an odd situation that I’m in that I helped to mould the party for the last seven-odd years and all of a sudden, you know, some people they did their best to get rid of me while the majority of people are still wanting me to stay on and fight on. But I can’t run for the Democratic Party, I have to run as an independent because my supporters want me to."

Sir Terepai Maoate says he thinks eventually the Democratic Party will break up.

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