THE COOK ISLANDS CONSTITUTION: THE APPOINTMENT OF A PRIME MINISTER AFTER A GENERAL ELECTION
AbstractThe granting of independence or self government to former British colonies in the Pacific region has generally been effected by the adoption of a written constitution, modelled on the unwritten conventions of the Westminster system of government, following the approach taken in Australia and Canada, as well as in other nations, now members of the Commonwealth of Nations.One such written constitution is that of the Cook Islands, enacted in the Cook Islands Constitution Act of 1964 which was passed by the Parliament of New Zealand on 17 November 1964 and which came into force on 4 August 1965, conferring by s.3 self government on the Cook Islands but reserving by s.5 responsibility for external affairs and defence in Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand. The Constitution of the Cook Islands, found in the Schedule to the Act, establishes a Westminster style of government. However, certain problems arose with respect to the position of the Prime Minister after the general election for the Parliament of the Cook Islands held on 30 March 1983 at which the Cook Islands Party gained 13 of the 24 seats, ousting the previous Democratic Party Government led by Sir Thomas Davis.
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