26 Jan 2005

A popularly elected president part of a constitutional review in Nauru

5:03 pm on 26 January 2005

Nauru's health minister says a presidential-style of government wouldn't weaken Cabinet power.

Doctor Kieren Keke has confirmed that MPs in a constitutional review committee will be examining a proposal to have the president directly chosen by the people at an election.

"The principle is that the Cabinet would still be collectively responsible; the discussions have been on the pros and cons of Parliament electing a President from within themselves, or giving that power to the people."

Doctor Keke says MPs have often squabbled over the leadership, where sometimes there were several governments in the space of a week.

He says the issue has been raised repeatedly by MPs, former governments and the public in recent years.

The committee will wrap up its public submissions period in mid-March.