In June, Nicholas was in hospital in New Zealand and only met the deadline for returning to the island to contest the general election by a few days.
While he was away, Nicholas left his government car parked at the airport. However, the government still did its best to conceal Nicholas’ absence, continuing to report in CINews’ weekly Cabinet Diary that the minister was on the island.
In recent weeks the “coconut wireless” has been rife with rumours of CIP MPs being enticed by the Demos to cross the floor and the source says it is only the party’s leadership issues that has prevented them from being successful.
Earlier this week yet another source with inside knowledge of the political scene claimed Aitutaki MP Junior Maoate had replaced Tina Browne as Demo Party leader. However, this has since been denied by Demo officials.
Meanwhile, a CIP spokesman, who also declined to be named, claimed on Thursday that the government was actually stable.
“Government is very stable now, especially with Mac (Mokoroa) as a Cabinet minister. Added some glue to his shoe. And a leadership change will happen when the PM determines it.
“It's the CIP way.”