12 Jun 2014

Nauru MPs lose entitlements

8:35 am on 12 June 2014

One of five opposition MPs suspended from Nauru's parliament says they have now been stripped of their entitlements, offices and salaries for speaking out against the government.

Three MPs were suspended last month, and two more followed last Thursday in a motion they say was unconstitutional.

Mathew Batsiua says that while the MPs may have been suspended from the legislature, they are still elected representatives of the people of Nauru.

He says the government has gone completely beyond its powers in an attempt to disable Nauru's democracy.

They are treating us as removed members, or members who are no longer considered to be Members of Parliament, which is just absurd and unlawful because we continue to be Members of Parliament. What the motion tried to do was to prevent us from attending meetings of parliament. So they are completely different matters and if this is the way that the government is going, then it's going to be strongly challenged.

Mathew Batsiua says the suspended MPs want an independent inquiry into the matter and are looking at whether to challenge it in the Supreme Court, which is currently without a Chief Justice.