HOPE! Beam me up, Scotty - NAURU's NEW GOVT could close detention centre
ABC Radio Australia
22 Jun 2004 09:59 GMT
- NAURU: Rene Harris' government collapses
- Political reformers win places in new Nauru Government
- New government could close Nauru detention centre
Surprise vote of no confidence, toppling Mr Harris' administration and installing a new President, Ludwig Scotty +++ Mr Harris said: "When we were in government, they (the new govt!) were totally against it (the detention centre)
NAURU: Rene Harris' government collapses
Tuesday, 22 June 2004
The outgoing President of Nauru is angry his government collapsed when one of his own cabinet ministers supported an opposition motion of no confidence. Rene Harris says he had wanted to dissolve parliament and call fresh elections because of the problems with passing legislation. He blamed the situation on the even balance of government and opposition in parliament.
Presenter/Interviewer: Bruce Hill
Speakers: Rene Harris, Outgoing President of Nauru
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New government could close Nauru detention centre
22/06/2004 18:04:09 | ABC Radio Australia News
Outgoing Nauru President Rene Harris says he hopes the incoming government does not close the detention centre for asylum-seekers on the island.
The president's comments come after the opposition launched a surprise vote of no confidence, toppling Mr Harris' administration and installing a new President, Ludwig Scotty.
Our Pacific correspondent, Bruce Hill, says the new government includes several advocates of political reform.
Nauru's detention centre was set up as part of Australia's so-called Pacific Solution for dealing with asylum seekers mainly arriving by sea. Under the arrangement the Australian government subsidises Nauru heavily.
Mr Harris says the new government would be foolish if they follow through on their previous statements and attempt to close the camp.
Mr Harris said: "When we were in government, they were totally against it (the detention centre).
"It'll be interesting what they do. Nauru will come to a grinding halt if they close the detention centre because, for a start, they're paying for fuel and power (and) oil. Nauru can't afford it at the moment."
Nauru's parliament has been effectively gridlocked for months. Our correspondent says things were so bad the speaker recently issued an appeal to MPs overseas to return home urgently, so parliament could pass several budget-related bills before the government ran out of money on 30 June.
President Rene Harris responded to the situation by threatening to dissolve parliament.
But Finance Minister, and former president, Kinza Clodumar, broke the impasse by crossing the floor to support an opposition vote of no confidence. Mr Clodumar has reportedly been rewarded by retaining his cabinet post.
Political reformers win places in new Nauru Government
22/06/2004 13:06:07 | ABC Radio Australia News
The Pacific island nation of Nauru has a new government which includes several advocates of political reform.
Our Pacific correspondent, Bruce Hill reports the Opposition was able to topple the administration led by President Rene Harris in a surprise vote of no confidence.
Nauru's parliament has been effectively gridlocked for months, our correspondent says.
Things were so bad that the Speaker issued an appeal recently for MPs who were overseas to return home urgently, so parliament could pass several urgent budget-related bills. If they didn't, it was possible the Nauru government would run out of money on June 30.
President Rene Harris responded to the situation by threatening to dissolve parliament. But yesterday a former President, Kinza Clodumar, broke the impasse by crossing the floor to support an opposition vote of no confidence.
The new President is Ludwig Scotty, and his ministerial team reportedly includes some of the younger MPs who have been advocating radical changes in the way the financially troubled island nation is run.