13 Feb 2013

Dabwido changes Nauru cabinet line-up

10:11 am on 13 February 2013

The Nauru government appears to be in disarray as it prepares to assess asylum seekers at the island's controversial Australian run detention camp..

Last week a key cabinet minister resigned and on Monday another was sacked.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Dr Kieren Keke, who as foreign minister was Nauru's spokesperson on detention camp issues, resigned last week, without any explanation. He is said to still be part of the government and a replacement is yet to be named. On Monday, enterprises minister and former president, Marcus Stephen, was sacked by the president Sprent Dabwido, and again no reasons have been made public. Last week the government also just managed to withstand a vote of no confidence brought by the opposition - the vote 9 to 8 in the 18 seat legislature. Now the Speaker is being petitioned to recall Parliament. Amid these political ructions Nauru is ostensibly preparing to assess the claims of hundreds of asylum seekers for refugee status. With Australian help, but officially managed by Nauru, formal interviews of the asylum seekers are expected to begin by the end of this month. There are plans also for an appeals tribunal and hopes that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees will provide training for the interviewers."