18 Feb 2010

Nauru's President defeats motion of no confidence he helped introduce

12:05 pm on 18 February 2010

Nauru's President took the unusual step yesterday to help the opposition bring a no confidence motion against his government, which was later defeated.

Parliament had been recalled after the Opposition petitioned the Speaker, advising of their intentions to move a no confidence motion, with the aim of removing the Stephen government.

President Marcus Stephen obliged by calling a sitting for today.

However when the Opposition moved to suspend standing orders to allow the motion to go forward, they were one vote short.

President Stephen then included himself in the vote to make up that number to enable the motion to proceed.

He told the Parliament that he was prepared to do so to demonstrate his confidence in having a clear mandate to govern.

There had been an air of uncertainty among the Nauruan population ever since the request to move the motion was submitted by the Opposition to the Speaker of Parliament Riddell Akua two weeks ago.

However, yesterday's move by the opposition was defeated, with President Stephen's government clearly maintaining power.

Nauru's first parliament sitting for the year was attended by all 18 members of parliament yesterday including David Adeang who was suspended from the parliament last year.