21 Jun 2004

Nauru's parliament set for dissolution this week

1:51 pm on 21 June 2004

Nauru's speaker of parliament says he expects to dissolve parliament this week, with an election set to be announced for no later than July 31st.

David Adeang says he received advice from Nauru's president, Rene Harris, last week, that parliament's current term should be ended and fresh elections sought.

Mr Adeang says as speaker he is obliged to put it before the house.

And, he says that under the constitution, once the advice of dissolution is put to the house, parliament has a week to decide whether to agree to it.

"We have basically until midnight of Thursday for the advice of dissolution to be revoked, and that can be done one of two ways: The president can withdraw the advice of dissolution or the parliament can revoke it by removing government from office. But otherwise, as speaker, yes, I will have to dissolve parliament and in which case general elections may be held no later than the 31st of July."

David Adeang says the development has come as a shock, with two critical budget bills needed to be passed before the end of the month.

And, the pressing matter of Nauru's 165-million US dollar debt to American firm General Electric Capital Corporation still to be refinanced.