31 Mar 2008

Nauru Government says Speaker lying over quorum claim

4:33 pm on 31 March 2008

The Nauru Government has dismissed complaints from the Speaker and Opposition MP, David Adeang, that it is stopping him carrying out his functions as Speaker.

Mr Adeang claims that police refusal, at the Government's behest, to eject two Ministers from the chamber, amounted to a parliamentary coup.

He says on other occasions police have also not followed his directions.

This comes after Mr Adeang oversaw the passing of controversial legislation when no Government MPs were in the chamber.

Mr Adeang says this was possible because he'd determined a quorum existed.

But Justice Minister Mathew Batsiua says the Speaker is wrong.

"Mr Adeang is lying. There was no quorum and that is the basis of our challenge in the Supreme Court. Now Mr Adeang is not willing to wait for the decision of the Supreme Court. We have sought his agreement to wait on the Supreme Court's deicision on this issue of quorum. We have supplied evidence to the Supreme Court to support our claim that there was no quorum. Mr Adeang simply does not want to wait for that."

Mathew Batsiua says the Court's decision is not expected until later this week.