12 Oct 2004

Nauru critic says election may be the forward for the country's moribund economy

8:37 pm on 12 October 2004

The woman who helped independent Nauru to riches is welcoming this month's election as a chance for the economy to become unstuck.

Registration to be a candidate in next week's ballot is proving popular.

Uncertainty over Nauru's political future comes during negotiations between the government and receivers who want to reorganise repayments on a 250 million US dollar loan.

The emeritus economics Professor at the Australian National University, Helen Hughes, was involved in setting up world phosphate prices for Nauru.

Professor Hughes says there are only one or two honest people left in the Nauru government.

She says a change in leadership could help get the constitution changed.

"If new people get in they could help Nauru into a new era. There is a constitutional review committee that hasn't been able to do anything because the crooks in government have tried to stop it."

Professor Hughes says Nauru should wind up its trust fund, airline, and shipping line.