20 Jan 2003

Nauru's president Rene Harris steps down a day after his reappointment to the post

6:34 am on 20 January 2003

Rene Harris has stepped down as president of Nauru just a day after a court reinstalled him in the position.

Mr Harris had been restored by Nauru's Melbourne-based chief justice, Barry Connell, who ruled that the no-confidence vote which replaced Mr Harris with former president Bernard Dowiyogo was invalid.

Mr Harris and six of his ministers boycotted the January 8 vote, leaving only 11 of the parliament's 18 members present.

The motion was passed by a vote of eight to three, one fewer than the number required by the constitution..

In a sitting of parliament on Saturday, Mr Harris surrendered the presidency, leaving Mr Dowiyogo and another former president, Kinza Clodumar, to win eight votes each in a contest to be the new president.

The Speaker then voted for Mr Dowiyogo, while one member is absent sick in Australia.

It's believed Mr Clodumar will challenge the result when parliament meets today.