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Full moon falling

Head of State avoids Cooks vote

‘THE work of the devil’ Clerk of Parliament John Tangi gave that explanation for an attempted vote-of-noconfidence in the government of the Cook Islands last month. According to news reports, Tangi blocked attempts by opposition members to enter parliament the day after the vote, or to approach the micro-state’s head of state. Security guards were also posted outside Parliament house to block access. Parliamentary staff were told to stand down and not accept instructions from opposition MPs.

Tangi was quoted by Radio Cook Islands as saying that “we don’t want them tangled in this illegal manner of doing things”.w His comments came as part of an unusually heated response to the vote attempt, in a country where party lines have blurred after endless coalitions, and endless crossings between government and opposition. Finance Minister Mark Brown described the attempt as “borderline treason” which could leave opposition members open to prosecution.

If true, any investigation will likely not include two government MPs who participated in the vote, but who Brown claimed were still part of the ruling party. He blamed former Speaker Norman George, a long-time party-swapper and prime ministerial aspirant, for orchestrating the latest power play.

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