14 May 2014

Police move in to Nauru parliament

7:27 pm on 14 May 2014

Scuffles and wrestling broke out in Nauru's parliament on Wednesday morning when police moved in to remove an opposition MP from the chamber.

The MP, Kieren Keke, says at least 20 police entered the chamber and dozens circled parliament buildings as protestors gathered outside.

Parliament had resumed after yesterday's urgent motion by the Justice Minister, David Adeang, to have three opposition MPs suspended.

The minister said the MPs Dr Keke, Roland Kun and Mathew Batsiua had hurt Nauru's development by giving damaging interviews to foreign media.

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Photo: RNZ / Walter Zweifel

Dr Keke says the police were called in this morning when the speaker Ludwig Scotty noted he had returned to parliament.

Dr Keke says there was pushing, shoving and wrestling on the ground involving other opposition MPs and the police, as Dr Keke tried to resist being ejected but no one was hit or hurt.

He says better sense took over and the police called in medical help for a former president and opposition MP Sprent Dabwido who almost collapsed out of exertion in the melee.

Dr Keke says the police then stood down and parliament went into recess for the speaker to consider Dr Keke's response to the government motion.

Dr Keke says the motion is unlawful, against standing orders and the constitution.

He says the call to suspend him is aimed at further cementing the dictatorial style of the government led by Baron Waqa.

He says the job of the opposition is to scrutinise the government and its many failings.

He says the government has censored the local media, gagged debate in parliament and bulldozed through legislation.

The Nauru government nor the speaker of parliament, Ludwig Scotty, has so far been available for comment.

For audio and transcript of interview with Kieren Keke click here