1 Oct 2004

Nauru's Parliament dissolved, Speaker sacked, and a state of emergency declared

3:49 pm on 1 October 2004

The President of Nauru, Ludwig Scotty, has dissolved parliament and declared a state of emergency in the country.

Elections are to be held on October 23.

The Speaker Russel Kun says he arrived at his office this morning to discover the President had fired him and armed police were waiting to escort him from the grounds.

Mr Kun had opposed the presence in Parliament of Cabinet Minister Dr Kieren Keke, because of his dual citizenship of both Nauru and Australia.

He declared Dr Keke a stranger to the House and this ensured a stalemate in the Parliament, meaning the Budget could not be passed.

Mr Kun says the President is blaming the Speakers Office for the stalemate, but he says Mr Scotty has not followed due process in dissolving the house and firing him as Speaker.

"I've actually been ordered to pack up, to get out of the office, orders from the President. I don't know where he got those orders from, under the Constitution. He has also ordered the dissolution of the House, when only the Speaker can issue a writ. The thing is laws here and this is something that is new to everyone"