1 Mar 2013

Nauru awaits election date with parliament set to be dissolved

2:14 pm on 1 March 2013

Nauru is expected to hold elections within weeks after the Speaker, Ludwig Scotty, read out a letter of dissolution in Parliament this morning.

It comes as the government has for weeks been handicapped by the loss of half its cabinet and the splitting of Parliament into several factions.

Last month, Nauru was to have begun hearing applications for refugee status from the hundreds of asylum seekers detained by Canberra, but that has not happened.

An election had been scheduled for the middle of the year but an opposition MP Baron Waqa says the people will welcome the chance to have their say earlier.

"The Government is dysfunctional and now the Parliament as well is playing up, so nothing can move on as far as Government work is concerned and Parliament's work is concerned. Yes so an early election is part of this arrangement now."

Baron Waqa.

The letter of dissolution is expected to be acted on next Friday when the Speaker should set a date for the poll.