25 Jan 2005

Nauru launches review of constitution

8:12 am on 25 January 2005

Parliamentarians in Nauru have launched a review of the constitution, which hasn't changed since independence in 1968.

A committee of MPs has called for submissions, from constitutional experts, academics, members of the diplomatic corps and former high government functionaries of Nauru.

The MPs have blamed the constitution for contributing to frequent motions of no-confidence, which have undermined political stability.

The committee says the 15th parliament failed to elect a president after 21 days.

It says the constitution sets down that a president must be elected on the first day, and there's no remedy in the constitution if the parliament fails to elect a president.

The committee also says there are no penal punishments prescribed for the high government functionaries found guilty of charges of corruption.

The committee's chairman, Dr Kieren Keke, says more areas for review will crop up once the constitution has been considered in detail.