Winston Peters Suffers Memory Loss
The Green Party Co-Leader Rod Donald says Winston Peters calls for defecting MPs to be thrown out of parliament contradicts his own statements when Michael Laws, Peter McCardle and Jack Elder defected to NZ First.
"Winston Peters' demand that the Government tighten up its anti-defection legislation totally contradicts the stand he took when three MPs defected to his party in 1996," said Rod Donald.
In a statement released on the day of Michael Laws defection Winston Peters said "new members of parliament joining NZ First - or any other elected political party - without resigning and seeking a new mandate is 'consistent with constitutional precedent'".
Peters went on to say "members of parliament have to be free to follow their conscience. They were elected to represent their constituents, not swear an oath of blind allegiance to a political party. If an MP feels that membership in another elected party better serves his or her constituents, then that can be put to the test at election time".
Mr Donald said "Clearly Peters was happy to have MPs from other parties defect to him but he couldn't cope two years later when MPs defected from him.
"His call for defecting MPs to be thrown out of parliament has nothing to do with principle and everything to do with his ego.
"How else can you explain his statement when welcoming Elder and McCardle that 'both men bring independence, integrity....' with his subsequent diatribes against defecting MPs?"