11 Nov 2011

Former Nauru president calls opposition corruption claims mischievous

6:41 am on 11 November 2011

Nauru's former president, Marcus Stephen, who resigned yesterday has called opposition claims of corruption unwarranted and mischievous.

He resigned saying he wanted to allow the government to continue its work after the opposition had questioned his integrity.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Opposition MP, David Adeang,has claimed that Mr Stephen had sought kickbacks on a phosphate deal with Thai business people. But Mr Stephen claims his email had been hacked and that the information has been taken out of context. He says the allegations, which have been made over the past month, were devaluing the office of the president and that is why he resigned. Mr Stephen has been replaced by former commerce and industry minister, Freddie Pitcher, but he will remain in cabinet. The resignation took the opposition by surprise - they had planned a vote of no confidence yesterday. But opposition leader Baron Waqa says numbers remain tight with the government having a majority of just one. He says significant disquiet remains in government ranks and the opposition expect what he calls interesting developments when parliament meets again next week."