21 Dec 2004

People of Nauru becoming more aware of country's problems - Forum official

2:20 pm on 21 December 2004

Nauru's parliament is due to meet on Thursday to set a date for a by-election in the seat held by the former speaker.

A public holiday was observed yesterday for the state funeral of the speaker Vassal Gadoengin.

A by-election is to be held for his constituency of Ewa and Anetan.

The result is not thought likely to affect the new reformist government, which holds 15 of parliament's 18 seats.

The Pacific Islands Forum representative to Nauru, Chitra Jeremiah, says two months of a fresh administration have encouraged people to face up to the island's financial difficulties.

"People are more aware of the problem Nauru's facing, and with the reformist government in, I think the only way forward will be to follow what they think is best for the country rather than to depend on past and previous practices, which have done nothing really for the economy of Nauru."

The Pacific Islands Forum representative to Nauru, Chitra Jeremiah.