17 Nov 2011

New Nauru president highlights need for constitutional reform

4:26 pm on 17 November 2011

Nauru's new president, Sprent Dabwido, says constitutional reform is critical for the island, and this is what inspired him to change his allegiance and join the opposition.

Mr Dabwido became Nauru's third president in a week on Tuesday after a vote of no confidence in president Freddie Pitcher.

Last year, parliament was in a stalemate for six months and Mr Dabwido says a reform bill that has been in parliament for five years must become law to solve these sorts of problems.

He says opposition backing is critical and that's why he joined with them in toppling the Pitcher administration.

"The bill is at its third reading stage, so we might lose that bill. So I then made the decision that for the betterment of this country I had to include the opposition in running this country, and then hopefully by doing that act they would see the benefit of this amendment bill being passed by Parliament."

Nauru's President Sprent Dabwido.

The reforms include an additional MP, a Speaker chosen from outside parliament, an ombudsman commission and a leadership code.