HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 526: 25 August 2010

Vai Peua out in the cold, may stand as an Independent

Dumped CIP MP for Pukapuka-Nassau Vai Peua is angry that he has been disregarded as the candidate to represent CIP at the upcoming general elections in November.
Tekii Lazaro has been named as the CIP candidate. For now, Peua is considering his political future and has not discounted the fact that he will challenge the seat as an Independent.
This decision has come amid controversy where allegations have been directed at the CIP Executive however it has been confirmed that this decision was made by the CIP supporters on Pukapuka without any influence whatsoever from the Executive.
Previously, the actions of Peua left a bitter taste in the mouths of his supporters where he defied the call from the CIP to “tow the party line” and to work with his committee. His failure to do so and his continual relationship with the DEMO’s forced the CIP Executive to invoke the provisions under the Electoral Act and the CIP Constitution to declare his seat vacant and calling for a by-election if he failed to return to the Party.
With the possibility of losing his seat, Peua reluctantly conceded to the CIP request and returned however it is understood, he continues to remain “at arms length” with the Executive and has failed to continue to work with his committee on Pukapuka. It is this aspect that has angered his committee therefore the reason to consider another candidate.
As a last resort, Peua is understood to have gone appealing to his Parliamentary Caucus leader Tom Marsters to intervene. Marsters contacted the Chairman of the CIP on Pukapuka to ask him and his committee to reconsider but his request was not successful. It is believed that the actions of Marsters attempting to influence the decision of the committee has angered CIP supporters resulting in the Executive cautioning Marsters to stay out of Pukapuka.
It is understood CIP will be formally confirming their candidate for Pukapuka shortly. Meanwhile with the controversies surrounding other constituencies in their candidate run offs, it seems current MP’s and their political masters are losing sight of the whole process of democracy and will resort to all sorts of tactics to remain in Parliament. Peua may well suffer the fate as a “one term MP” because his committee feels he has lost sight of his objectives for the people of Pukapuka therefore, this is the consequence of his own doing.
Ironically, under the Constitution of the CIP, it states that the seat belongs to the constituency and once Parliament is dissolved, the seat is returned to the people for consideration. It would seem this is the contentious issue that has upset several of the sitting MP’s who maintain the seat belongs to them and the party has no right to intervene. Perhaps the fate of Peua may well serve as a reminder that times have changed and people are calling for change. Maybe this will also serve as a wake up call for the likes of Marsters, Maoate, George, Vavia and Maruruai that it is time for them to move on.

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