19 Mar 2008

Nauru Opposition attempts No Confidence motion in Marcus Stephen government

8:48 am on 19 March 2008

A group of Nauru opposition members, led by former president Rene Harris, used yesterday's sitting of Parliament to attempt a No Confidence motion against the government of Marcus Stephen.

However, after the opposition successfully moved to suspend Standing Orders to enable a no confidence motion, the Speaker, Riddell Akua, tendered his resignation.

In his resignation letter, which was read to the Parliament, Mr Akua challenged the opposition to fill the Speaker's chair to demonstrate they have the numbers.

Three nominees declined the Speaker's position, thus no motion to remove the government was able to be moved.

The Parliament adjourned until tomorrow, deadlocked at nine apiece.

The foreign affairs and finance minister, Kieren Keke, has described the opposition action as opportunistic and would only serve to anger Nauruans.

Dr Keke says this has come about through a deal amongst former members of the Ludwig Scotty government, brokered by former finance minister David Adeang, to offer the presidency to Rene Harris in exchange for his vote.

A police investigation is underway into certain matters that include serious allegations made against David Adeang late last year.