4 Jul 2016

Nauru opposition MPs hampered as election nears

3:31 pm on 4 July 2016

An opposition MP in Nauru and former president Sprent Dabwido says the government is doing everything possible to hamper campaigning less than a week from election day.

The Chamber of Parliament, Nauru

The Chamber of Parliament, Nauru Photo: Supplied

The election is on Saturday and Mr Dabwido has spoken out on behalf of all the opposition MPs, four of whom are suspended from parliament.

He said they had tried to do the right thing and apply to the Police Commissioner to hold peaceful rallies last week in order to outline their policies and vision for the future.

Mr Dabwido said they received a verbal response denying permission but nothing in writing from the police chief.

He had also accused the government of instructing local media not to give the MPs any airtime.

Mr Dabwido said he hoped election observers would take note and report on the many election irregularities in Nauru.

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido

Former Nauru president Sprent Dabwido Photo: supplied

"The government is blitzing the people with a constant barrage of propaganda through our local radio and television station but have maintained the same restrictions which prevent us - or anyone who disagrees with the government - from having any air time at all."

The MPs won a court challenge last week which saw a curfew on them lifted.

They had not been allowed to leave their homes for 12 hours from six in the evening as part of the bail conditions imposed when the MPs first faced court shortly after protests last year.

But Mr Dabwido said despite the lifting of the curfew their application to stage a peaceful rally on the weekend was denied by the Police Commissioner.

"In my own personal belief I think it's political. I think the Police Commissioner is also related to the Minister for Justice, just went to him and said these people are trying to do this thing and I think the political gods of Nauru said no, and that was it."

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