22 Apr 2004

Nauru may see leadership challenge

1:10 pm on 22 April 2004

Nauru's president is fighting for his political survival after handing over most of the country's overseas assets over to receivers.

Rene Harris is returning to Nauru from Australia, after negotiations in Melbourne on the island's insolvency crisis.

Mr Harris was joined in Australia by the finance minister Kinza Clodumar and the economic development minister, Remy Namaduk.

He is heading home to a parliament in which he lost his majority two weeks ago, as the speaker Ludwig Scotty resigned and joined the opposition.

If Mr Harris and his ministers do not return to Nauru in time, the opposition could have the numbers to elect a new speaker, and then file a motion of no confidence.

However, Mr Harris is confident he'll be able to stay on as president.