10 Jun 2016

Nauru govt backs down over onerous election fees

3:57 pm on 10 June 2016
Nauru opposition MP Mathew Batsiua.

Nauru opposition MP Mathew Batsiua. Photo: Supplied

The Nauru Government has backpedalled on the prohibitive fees it had put in place for prospective election candidates.

The government had hiked the fee from $AUD100 to $2000 but after a legal challenge by people wanting to stand in the election, expected next month, this has dropped to $500 dollars.

A former justice minister, Mathew Batsiua, who is one of five suspended opposition MPs, said the government had been forced into an embarrassing retreat.

He said it was a win for democracy.

"In Parliament they amended the Electoral Act to revise down the fee from $2000 to $500. So it's a small victory but it was a very determined on our part and the part of those fighting for fairness in Nauru, because the fee was astonishingly and many people would have been disadvantaged. So it was a great win but more importantly a great day for democracy in Nauru."

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