Cook Islands New Parliament Likely To Convene Next Week

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PM Puna requests October 8 sitting with slim working majority of MPs

By Emmanuel Samoglou

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Sept, 30, 2014) – Prime Minister Henry Puna has advised the Head of State to summons Parliament for a sitting to commence on October 8.

Yesterday, Puna had a scheduled appointment with Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters, where it is believed he made his request for the first gathering of Parliament since July’s general elections, said Advisor Trevor Pitt with the Office of the Prime Minister.

Pitt said the request for the sitting was the sole purpose of the visit.

As of 4pm yesterday afternoon, Clerk of Parliament John Tangi said he had yet to receive a warrant from Marsters for the October 8 start date.

Should that date proceed, Puna will be leading his Cook Islands Party into the House with a working majority of 12 MP’s out of 23 seats currently occupied.

Remaining seats are distributed amongst the Democratic Party with 9, and One Cook Islands with 2. An empty seat, representing the constituency of Mitiaro, will remain vacant until a by-election - currently scheduled for November 11.

The expected first order of business for the sitting will be the tabling of the 2014-15 appropriation bill, which will include details on how much and in which areas the Government intends to spend money for the current financial year.

Today, Puna departs for the Northern group island of Manihiki, where he will be attending the official opening of the island’s new harbours. Minister of Health and Atiu MP Nandi Glassie is also expected to make the trip.

He returns Thursday.

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