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Cook Islands Party Fighting Defection Rumours
Source: cinews.co.ck
Source Date: Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Created: Jul 12, 2010

Opposition Cook Islands Party leader Tom Marsters says the last thing the party needs so close to an election is to mirror the turmoil of the Democratic Party.

Tension has risen in the CIP since disgruntled Ruatonga-Avatiu-Panama-Palmerston-Atupa (RAPPA) MP Albert ‘Peto’ Nicholas formed the CIP Tumu last Thursday.

Nicholas’ departure has left the CIP fighting off rumour that a number of its six remaining MPs will defect to the new party.

Just yesterday Marsters rubbished fresh rumours that he was thinking of ‘crossing over’ and that deputy leader Teina Bishop would become the new leader of the opposition party.

“I have no plans to leave my party – the party I helped build up over the years. I can almost say for certain that none of us are crossing over,” said Marsters.

Marsters says he doesn’t know where the latest rumour came from, but he makes no secret that he sympathises with Nicholas.

Marsters and CIP MP Nandi Glassie reportedly visited Nicholas at his residence on Monday, but it’s not known what discussions they had with him.

“I feel sad about the whole affair. If the executive and everyone had sat down and we had put our thinking caps on we could have resolved it without him (Nicholas) having to leave the party.”

Marsters says Nicholas’ departure from the CIP is a ‘big loss’ to the party and he is disappointed with the party executive.

“Peto brought the (RAPPA) seat over to the CIP. On several occasions the Demos have tried to woo Peto back with promises of a ministerial posting and all the trappings that go with it. But he stuck with his party loyally. “I think the executive have forgotten the loyalty.”

Now Marsters says what he once considered to be one of the CIP’s ‘safest’ seats could fall to the Demos come election time.

Bishop has also told CI News he does not believe any of the CIP MPs will defect to the CIP Tumu, least of all Marsters.
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