Nauru Speaker's opinion on expulsion still coming
Suspended Nauru MPs are still waiting to hear back from the Speaker on their challenge to their expulsion.
The three Nauru MPs who were suspended from Parliament last week say they are yet to hear from the Speaker on their challenge to the validity of the suspension.
The government had the three MPs, Mathew Batsiua, Dr Kieren Keke and Roland Kun removed on Tuesday, claiming they had brought disrepute on Nauru by speaking to the international media.
The three MPs reject the claims.
Mr Batsiua told Don Wiseman the Speaker, Ludwig Scotty, has not come back with a legal opinion on the Government's actions.
MATHEW BATSIUA: We will continue to encourage the Speaker to make sure that the legal opinion that is fixed is from an independent source, I think that is very important. So at the moment we are waiting for the Speaker to come back to us with the outcome of the legal opinion.
DON WISEMAN: Is an independent source available on Nauru itself?
MB: Probably not in Nauru. We would probably be more reassured if the Speaker sought it elsewhere separate from the Government and the Ministry of Justice because it needs to be independent so that everybody can be satisfied with the outcome or that the legal opinion being given is truly independent; maybe from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association which is a body that is recognised and we are part of and we engage in many activities that are organised by the CPA. So those kind of institutions I think will give a lot of people reassurance that the opinion given is truly independent and credible.
DW: What's been the reaction amongst the general population on Nauru on this round of political shenanigans? The island is of course, it is not foreign for the island to have the politicians carrying on in a dramatic fashion - how are they taking all of this?
MB: Yeah, it is not foreign for our parliament for be undergoing such turmoil but it is very uncommon and it's never happened before I don't think that members of parliament will be suspended for being critical of government actions and policies. It is an affront to our freedom of speech, it is an affront to our democracy and our way of life and how we see things happening in Nauru and it is not how we do things, we are free to speak to our minds especially if our actions aimed at criticising government actions and policies - now the government has gone out to say that because we were speaking against the national interest almost like we were committing treason and that is just laughable because you can go back over our comments and you know we have done many interviews criticising specifically the actions of government but in no way bringing disrepute to Nauru itself. We love Nauru, it's our country, we are members of parliament that represent Nauru domestically and abroad and why would be rubbish the name of Nauru. All we were doing was criticising the actions of government because the actions of government was actually bringing disrepute to Nauru, not our words it was the actions of our government that was actually bringing disrepute to Nauru.
DW: And is that recognised among the wider population?
MB: The wider population sees that the charges levelled against us by the government are drummed up. They don't see that what we have done is detrimental to the national interests of Nauru, what we have done they expected us to do. It's our jobs as members of parliament, as members of the opposition to scrutinize the actions of government, they see it as that and they are not being fooled by the government in trying to drum up that what we've done is against the national interests, not many people see it that way and so a lot of people are just shaking their heads on why it has led to our suspension.
The Nauru government has refused to speak to the international media, which it has accused of interference in the island's domestic affairs.
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