Brown’s resignation comes after Democratic Party candidate Nandi Glassie, who lost in the March 18 by-election, filed a petition against her win in the Cook Islands High Court.
The first call for the petition enquiry was heard yesterday before Chief Justice Sir Hugh Williams QC. The matter is adjourned to today.
In her resignation letter to Queen’s Representative Tom Marsters delivered yesterday, Brown said: “It is my wish, borne out of respect for the will of my people that the representative for my constituency of Areora-Ngatiarua-Tengatangi be elected by them as electors of the constituency and not be determined by the court.”
The 23-year-old added in light of the petition lodged by Glassie and in order to avoid any risk that “the will of my people may be subverted”, she wished to give the people in her constituency an opportunity yet again, to decide on their representative.
“I will continue to do the right thing, by once again giving back to the people of Atiu, and those electors of Areora Ngatiarua and Tengatangi, a voice, that the Democratic Party seem so determined to keep quiet, and the opportunity to elect, though the Democratic Party would rather they didn’t get that chance, and to uphold their right to select their representative in Parliament,” Brown said in a statement after tendering her resignation.
“The Democratic Party seem hell bent on allowing a court room and a judge to select the representative for Atiu instead.
“We should be alarmed and concerned that the Democratic Party way, wants to spend excessive amounts of money on lawyers from overseas and money after the election has passed, as they spuriously look for fault in others, rather than spending their time, money and energy before the election and when they had the chance to win this by the will of the people.”
Brown claimed that “people have had enough and they were sick and tired of these countless petitions”, one after the other, robbing the good people of Rakahanga their choice and their voice and now looking to Atiu to do the same.
“I said in my speech in Atiu, our ancestors were warriors, and it is in our blood but we should be using that energy from our ancestors to fight for what’s right, to fight for our island and for a better future. Not to fight with each other,” she said.
“It’s time to wake up Enuamanu, we have wasted enough time and energy distracting ourselves with negative practices. At the end of the day we are all family and we are all from one island.
“And yet here we are forced by Nandi Glassie and the Democratic Party to waste time, waste taxpayers’ money, waste energy in a fight, when the decision has already been made, and made twice and a fight that will push
our small community apart, build walls when we should be building bridges, roads and runways, and deepen the mistrust I have been working so hard to work against.”
Brown said she would not take the voice, the vote and the will of the people of Atiu and give it to someone else to decide.
Brown first won the seat in the 2018 general election under the Democratic Party banner. She resigned after defecting to the Cook Islands Party-led coalition government.
In the by-election held last month, she stood as an independent candidate and retained the seat with 80 votes while Glassie received 50 votes.