17 Aug 2010

Nauru opposition to blame for continuing state of emergency - President

3:11 pm on 17 August 2010

The caretaker President of Nauru says the Opposition is dysfunctional and this is why emergency powers remain in place.

Marcus Stephen was responding to comments by the leader of the opposing coalition, Baron Waqa, who claims Mr Stephen has been acting illegally in using emergency powers over the past eight weeks.

Mr Waqa says his group want Parliament to sit but Mr Stephen says that's pointless unless there is agreement on forming an interim coalition which can bring in constitutional change.

Mr Stephen says this is the only way forward after a six month long political impasse.

He says the Opposition is only willing to do this if it gets the Presidency.

"But we have told them that that is not up for bargain. It is something that you have to win and it's not something you just hand over on a silver platter. I don't think there's anywhere in the world where a party just offers the leadership away, based on what? because they are better looking than me, or what? That just doesn't happen."