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Terepai Maoate Ousted As Cook Islands PM

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

14 February 2002


Ousted Prime Minister of the Cook Islands, Dr Terepai Maoate may today be regretting his decision not to accept the resignation of then-Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Robert Woonton last week, following the former's unceremonious ejection from government.

The former Prime Minister survived a vote of no confidence initiated by Dr Doctor Woonton last week by 14 votes to 7, and refused to accept his deputy's resignation, saying that he was entitled to express his feelings. Express them he did, and Dr Maoate was ousted by a margin of 15 to 9 in a second vote of no confidence this week.

Dr Woonton was immediately appointed Prime Minister, and on Tuesday announced that his coalition government will include former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Henry in the role of Deputy, Norman George, Tom Marsters, Jim Marurai, and Peri Vaevae-Pare.

Robert Woontan has revealed that he initiated the overthrow of Terepai Maoate as he felt that the cabinet was becoming a mere 'rubber stamp' for policies already decided upon by the former Prime Minister and his Chief of Staff.

'The country has been led by bureaucrats, people in the prime minister's department - people who are just appointed rather than people who are elected to run the country,' he explained.


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