21 Jun 2004

Nauru government in budgetary limbo over dissolution of parliament

3:10 pm on 21 June 2004

Nauru's speaker says government plans to dissolve parliament mean an election will be held without a parliamentary-approved budget.

David Adeang says Nauru's president, Rene Harris, advised him last week of plans to dissolve parliament, meaning an election is set to be announced for no later than July 31st.

Mr Adeang says, as speaker, he is obliged to put it before the house and then parliament has a week to decide whether to agree to it.

But, he says the development has come as a shock as two critical budget bills need to be passed before the end of the month.

"The financial year for 2003/2004 expires at the end of this month. If the house dissolves before the end of the month, and by Thursday, you have a government that is going to have to find some ways and means of accessing treasury funds to continue to provide goods and services but without constitutional authority from parliament."

Mr Adeang says the pressing matter of Nauru's 165-million US dollar debt to American firm General Electric Capital Corporation remains with a refinancing deal yet to be signed..