10 Nov 2011

Nauru President resigns over corruption allegations

8:20 pm on 10 November 2011

The President of Nauru, Marcus Stephen, has resigned amid allegations of corruption.

The PACNEWS agency says the speaker of the Nauru parliament read Mr Stephen's resignation to parliament today.

Mr Stephen has been replaced Freddie Pitcher, a former minister of commerce industry and environment, but he will remain in government.

Last month, opposition member David Adeang used parliamentary privilege to read out an email, claiming it was correspondence between Mr Stephen and a phosphate dealer in Thailand.

In the email, Mr Stephen allegedly asks for a kickback on the sale of 25,000 cubic tonnes of phosphate.

Last week Mr Adeang tabled a motion of no confidence against Mr Stephen.

That motion was due to be heard today, but Mr Stephen pre-empted it with his resignation.

Mr Stephen came to power four years ago soon after Mr Adeang had been forced out of government over allegations he was linked with corrupt Asian businessmen.