18 Apr 2008

Nauru's Government calls snap election to end parliamentary deadlock

10:31 am on 18 April 2008

The President of Nauru, Marcus Stephen has today invoked his executive powers and declared a state of emergency in order to dissolve parliament and call a general election, to be held on the 26th of April.

President Stephen says the actions of the Speaker, Opposition MP David Adeang, and his supporters had seriously compromised the parliamentary process.

Nauru's Parliament has been in a deadlock for months with nine MPs supporting each side, while Mr Adeang had used his pivotal role to unsuccessfully try and force out Government MPs.

Mr Stephen says the Opposition's irresponsible behaviour is threatening a number of investment projects and delaying important appropriation bills.

He says some of those projects involve donor countries and Nauru can't expect them to be patient any longer.

Mr Stephen says his Government will not stand by while the Opposition pursues what he calls a self-serving agenda of economic destruction, which is starting to hurt every Nauruan.

He says he believes the voters of Nauru will voice their disgust at the attempt to hold the island's democratic institutions to ransom.

The President says the short lead up to the election is necessary to return political stability to the country as soon as possible.