14 Jan 2003

Continued confusion over whether Nauru has a new government

5:32 am on 14 January 2003

Nauru's Centre Party is backing claims that the appointment of Bernard Dowiyogo as president is illegal and is refusing to acknowledge a change in government.

Led by veteran politician Kinza Clodumar, the Centre Party says the new government defies an interim injunction by the Supreme Court to leave Rene Harris as President until it decides on the validity of his removal from office.

The party says knowing that a court ruling was pending, Mr Dowiyogo went ahead and announced a new cabinet and conducted government business without a parliamentary quorum present.

The Centre Party is also maintaining that a reported vote of no confidence into Mr Harris did not take place.

It claims that MPs voted and passed a censure motion against Mr Harris because of his boycotting parliament to stymie opposition attempts to hold the no confidence vote.

The party says a vote of censure is not a vote of no confidence and that the Speaker was wrong to call for Presidential elections, which, in any case, were held without the required mimimum of nine MPs present.

The Centre party says that the speaker and his supporters have defied legal processes.