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Internal fallout won't affect Cook Islands Party's election race

By Lisa Williams-Lahari -

The winning party of the last two general elections in the Cook Islands is heading into the 2018 polls with some internal fallout and allegations of corruption when it comes to candidate selection.

However the Cook Islands Party's vice president Mark Brown who's been named by Margaret Matenga as part of the problems forcing her withdrawal from the Cook Islands Party and going independent for the 2018 general elections, says it's unlikely the cloud of attention will be a major problem.

"I don't think it's made much of an impact. It's disappointing that it involves the family that has been long time supporters, and are still are long time supporters of the Cook Islands Party, but politics can be a pretty rough game and at the end of the day it's all about people's choices."

Cook Islands Minister for Finance Mark Brown. Photo/ PRN.

Matenga is the daughter of retired longtime Cook Islands Party MP Teanua Dan Kamana. 

She had made her candicacy for the Titikaveka seat public earlier this year, but fell out with party officials over selection processes and rules. 

The CIP have since named another candidate for the June 14 polls.

Mr. Brown says the June 14 general election is all about timing for two other events in 2018.

There's the passing of the next Budget for another 12 months and the annual independence celebrations into July and August.

"The feeling that we're starting to receive is that people appreciate that it's going to be a short campaign period of eight weeks and they're looking forward to a good clean campaign," says Mr. Brown.

Photo/ Cook Islands Parliament.

Tags: Cook Islands,