1 May 2007

Vocal opposition frustrates Nauru reformers

7:47 pm on 1 May 2007

A small, but vocal minority is opposing the proposed reforms to Nauru's constitution.

A 36-member convention is discussing recommendations put forward by a constitutional review commission after a series of public meetings last year.

Those meetings indicated concern about financial mismanagement and accountability.

But the Foreign Minister, David Adeang, says a small section is slowing discussions:

"This is something that mystifies me, personally, I mean this is a movement of change promoted by government. I would have thought that the people who tend to naturally be in opposition to government, would have been riding the bandwagon, so to speak, and maximising the opportunity to instigate change that would clamp down on present and future corruption."

Mr Adeang says the convention has six weeks to discuss the recommended changes, such as selecting a president by popular vote and introducing a leadership code.

Legislation will then go before parliament where it needs a two thirds majority to pass before going to a public referendum.