Cook Islands Party system ‘flawed’ – Glassie

RAROTONGA, 29 NOVEMBER 2018 (COOK ISLANDS NEWS) – The party system in the Cook Islands is flawed and gives power to only a few to dictate and make judgements on key issues, says the former minister Nandi Glassie.

The interim president of the newly-formed Cook Islands United Party says the local party system is “full of holes which allow for dictatorship that only the very few rule”.

Speaking at the party’s launch on Saturday night in Arorangi, Glassie said this situation was “not right”, adding that the Cook Islands United Party, led by former deputy prime minister Teariki Heather, offers a better choice to the people of the Cook Islands.

“Government (should be) run by the people. Not by the very few, who abuse political power,” said Glassie, who served as the Health minister with the Cook Islands Party (CIP) government before losing his seat in this year’s election.

“The Cook Islands United Party, formed on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, holds truth to these words on democracy – that here in the Cook Islands everyone is equal, everyone has rights, everyone has freedom to express under our Constitution: that we have life, freedom and happiness to aim at.

“Cook Islands Untied Party is a new vision and hope. A hope based on faith.”

The launch, held at the Raemaru Sports Clubhouse attracted a good turnout.

Glassie said it was pleasing to see so many people attending from both the Democratic Party and CIP camps.

In his speech, Glassie said the foundation of his party was based on hope and faith that they could provide secure jobs for the people and reduce tax so people had more money to spend.

“We also care for those struggling in the outer islands, that we can join in political affairs without fear, and that our votes will be counted with honesty and integrity,” he said.

“We as Cook Islanders, have work to do – more work to do for those on a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, more to do for our young educated Cook Islanders coming home looking for work. More to do for some families struggling to pay their mortgages, more to do for our young people who have the drive, the will, to do well at school but don’t have the money to go to a trade training school or university.

“When we talk about political reform or public sector reform, it is not only about reducing numbers, it is looking for a new system of government. A new paradigm shift. A new democracy that suit us today, not yesterday,” she said.

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