18 Mar 2013

Nauru court decision clarifies constitutional power says Keke

12:34 pm on 18 March 2013

A declaration by Nauru's chief justice that the recent early dissolution of parliament by the speaker was unlawful is being hailed as clarifying the court's power to uphold the constitution.

The ruling last week resulted in the cancellation of the election planned for April the 6th and requires the speaker to reconvene the assembly within the next three weeks.

A former cabinet member, Kieren Keke, says contrary to the constitution there have been a number of instances where either the speaker or the president has acted as if they were above the law.

"That they could do whatever they felt was politically convenient for them but may not have been compliant with either the constitution or the law. This case has clarified beyond any doubt that where somebody does not comply with the constitution, the court has the power to order them to take specific actions or to not do certain things to ensure compliance with the constitution."

Kieren Keke says if parliament disagrees with the wish of the president, Sprent Dabwido, to dissolve the assembly early, it is likely members will back a vote of no confidence in him.