24 Mar 2008

Nauru parliament expected to sit again after last week's tensions

2:28 pm on 24 March 2008

Nauru's parliament is expected to be called to sit again this week, amid government frustration over the motives of the new Speaker.

Parliament met on Saturday after the Speaker, Opposition MP David Adeang, kept members waiting until the early hours of Good Friday to make the announcement.

Mr Adeang had been central in failed attempts to bring a vote of no-confidence in the government last week.

A spokesman for the government, Rod Henshaw, says the President claims the Speaker is out of control and trying to disturb his administration by breaking parliamentary rules.

"The former world champion weightlifter turned President of Nauru, Marcus Stephen, is not unaccustomed to flexing his muscles in his past incarnation but I think he flexed them again over the weekend, saying that enough is enough on these totally unparliamentary abuses of privilege and process. And my guess is that the president will call parliament some time this week in a bid to try and resolve this matter. But patience is running fairly thin up there on the government side."

The government, which now has a basic majority of one in the 18-member parliament, is working to entice opposition MPs to cross the floor.