27 May 2013

19 Nauru MPs to be elected for the first time in June poll

7:39 pm on 27 May 2013

When Nauru goes to the polls next month 19 parliamentary seats in the eight constituencies will be contested for the first time.

This follows an amendment to the Electoral Act last July in which the number of seats was increased by one.

It was done with the aim that the parliament not be evenly split between the 18 MPs, rendering it unworkable.

The amendment was originally part of a package of constitutional reforms aimed at improving the stability of parliament.

But the proposed package, which was driven by president Sprent Dabwido, was defeated.

The government then decided to pursue the various reforms one at a time and managed to get the legislation for the additional MP through.

Legislation for the other planned changes was re-introduced in February this year, but never reached the floor of parliament after months of the body failing to meet for want of a quorum.

It has since lapsed.