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Cooks' opposition hopes dashed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/06/2016

The Cook Islands' opposition coalition has failed to oust Prime Minister Henry Puna.

Earlier this week, the Pacific Island nation was plunged into political confusion after opposition parties called a vote of no confidence in Mr Puna and his government.

They claimed parliament hadn't been properly adjourned at the end of last week and took advantage of the situation by resuming parliament and taking the vote.

But the Cook Islands' Queen's Representative Tom Marsters has dashed the opposition's hopes of ousting Mr Puna.

Mr Marsters has dismissed the parliamentary sitting held by the opposition coalition, saying parliament was properly adjourned last week, the Cook Islands News reports.

The Cook Islands has a special relationship with New Zealand, being self-governing in free association.

That means Cook Islanders are New Zealand citizens, have New Zealand passports and use New Zealand currency.

The Cook Islands government is free to make its own laws and conduct its own affairs, but New Zealand remains responsible for defence and foreign policy.

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