12 Nov 2007

Three senior government ministers step down in Nauru over governance issues

6:12 am on 12 November 2007

Three of Nauru's senior government ministers have resigned their portfolios over governance concerns.

They say they have deep concerns that the reforms they helped implement when they first came to power in 2004, are being undermined.

The resignations have created a serious split in the government of Ludwig Scotty, which was re-elected in August this year on a platform pledging to continue the reform process.

The Ministers, Dr. Kieren Keke, Frederick Pitcher and Roland Kun, tendered their resignations following a series of tense cabinet and caucus meetings.

They have called on the President to act on a number of reports and allegations involving his Deputy and Finance Minister, David Adeang.

Several backbenchers have joined the three former ministers to form a group, which is pledging to get the reforms back on track and it's likely that President Scotty and his Deputy will face a no-confidence motion.

Mr. Adeang has been accused of improper financial conduct.

One of the backbenchers, Mathew Batsiua, said the reasons for the breakaway have been simmering for some time.

He said the three former Ministers and several backbenchers had pleaded with the President to act on the allegations against Mr. Adeang and on other matters involving the Finance Minister's portfolio, so that transparency in Government could be observed.