14 May 2010

On first day in office, Nauru speaker urges dissolution of parliament

7:56 am on 14 May 2010

Nauru's new speaker, Godfrey Thoma, has asked the caretaker President Marcus Stephen to dissolve the House at the next sitting.

Mr Thoma was chosen yesterday after five attempts in three weeks to select a speaker had failed amid a deadlock in the 18-member parliament.

According to the Government Information Office, Mr Thoma has signalled that he will reconsider staying on if the President fails to dissolve parliament to allow a fresh election.

Mr Stephen has proposed amending the constitution to add a 19th member in order to avoid a repeat of the recent impasse.

The caretaker finance minister, Dr Kieren Keke, says an immediate dissolution would be irresponsible and risk a similar stalemate after a new election.

Last month's early election returned the previous parliament unchanged.