11 May 2010

To break stalement, Nauru president calls for reforms

1:36 pm on 11 May 2010

Nauru's caretaker president, Marcus Stephen, says reforms are needed before the country can go back to the polls.

Today, parliament failed for the fifth time since last month's election to elect a speaker, with no nomination in a meeting that lasted for an estimated two minutes.

Last week, the opposition indicated it was prepared to put a nominee forward so parliament could be dissolved and new elections held.

In the end it didn't offer a candidate.

But Mr Stephen says before any further election his group wants a change to the constitution.

He says his group wants the Speaker selected from outside Parliament to change the numbers in the 18-member House and so ensure there are no further stalemates.

"There is no guarantee that we will have a result if we have another election. We might have another stalemate, so what I had in mind and my group, Cabinet, had in mind was, well, if we are going back to the people then lets be responsible and make that proposal where there'll never be a stalemate ever."

Marcus Stephen says Parliament is next due to meet on Thursday morning.