Swearing-in on hold Deputy prime minister

Friday May 31, 2019 Written by Published in National
Deputy PM Mark Brown. Deputy PM Mark Brown.

Mark Brown says the government will swear in Toka Hagai as the seventh minister once he is cleared of the “treating” allegation under an electoral appeal.

 

Brown said they have not received a report on the investigation carried out by the

Cook Islands Police after Hagai lost the election petition last year. He was alleged of “treating” voters on Rakahanga in lead up to the 2018 general election.

Police earlier confirmed the investigation of Hagai had finished and the file has been referred to Crown Law. However there has been no update on the status of the file despite numerous requests to Crown Law for comments on the issue.

CINews understands fisheries is one of the portfolios that will be given to Hagai. There are rumours that Hagai will be sworn in before the Parliament sits on Tuesday.

In last month’s Parliament sitting, prime minister Henry Puna said the seventh minister appointed by the government will help in sharing the workload currently faced by the six Cabinet members.

In the Appropriation Amendment Bill which was passed last month, $50,000 was allocated for the establishment of a new ministerial office. The funding was put aside to ensure the incoming seventh minister is able to deliver the responsibilities he will bear.

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