12 Oct 2004

Court rules Nauru's elections can go ahead in two weeks

7:37 am on 12 October 2004

Nauru's Supreme Court has upheld a state of emergency declared by its president and ruled a general election could go ahead in two weeks.

Chief Justice Barry Connell rejected an opposition group's argument that the President's move to dissolve parliament, issue a state of emergency and call new elections was unconstitutional.

The decisions by Ludwig Scotty were taken after Nauru's 18-seat parliament became deadlocked over its budget.

The Chief Justice said the president's actions were justified if they were "reasonably required for security public safety".

Nauru was plunged into a financial crisis after it failed to maintain repayments on a 250 million US Dollar loan from the US company General Electric Capital .

Its multi-million dollar portfolio of assets is in receivership in Australia.