Mother and daughter, Rose and Tehani Brown, made a clean sweep in Atiu winning the Teenui-Mapumai and Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua seats, respectively, in yesterday’s general elections.
Rose, a former Cook Islands Party (CIP) MP, stood as an independent candidate and managed 65 votes, followed by CIP’s Tereapii Porio on 26 votes and Democratic Party’s Tania Akai on six.
Her daughter, Tehani, who is only 22 years old and is set to become the youngest MP in the country, caused a huge upset after she defeated CIP candidate and health minister Nandi Glassie.
Tehani scooped 61 votes followed by Glassie on 42, while Norman George of Alternative Must Ravenga Openga managed only six votes.
Rose, who was set to contest the 2018 polls under the banner of CIP, decided to stand as an independent after claiming the CIP members on the island “have been trying to influence my nomination in Teenui-Mapumai”.
She earlier told CINews that the CIP wanted her to withdraw the nomination of her daughter Tehani as the Demo candidate in the other Atiu electorate of Tengatangi-Areora-Ngatiarua, which was previously held by Glassie. Brown went on to say that she had been made to feel unwelcome and untrusted by the CIP, hence her decision to stand as an independent.
“It is sad that the democratic right of the people of Teenui-Mapumai has been denied by the Raro CIPs, mainly the president, Nandi Glassie and Man Unuia,” Rose earlier said.
“It may now come to pass that the CIP will lose two seats in Atiu.”
However, CIP president Nga Jessie said Rose’s claim that she was forced out of the party was “simply not true”.
In 2016, Rose crossed the floor to join the Demos and became the Cook Islands’ first female opposition leader following an unsuccessful attempt by the opposition coalition to take over the CIP-led government and install her as prime minister.
A year later, in June 2017, she returned to her former CIP colleagues after quitting the opposition when William “Smiley” Heather was re-appointed leader.
Rose, who was elected to parliament in the 2014 elections, has also served as deputy House Speaker, as well as sitting on the Parliamentary Select Committee for the Crimes Bill 2017.
SOURCE: COOK ISLAND NEWS