30 May 2013

Nauru finance minister resigns in protest at emergency moves

2:02 pm on 30 May 2013

Nauru's finance minister, Roland Kun, has resigned in protest at the state of emergency instituted by the president Sprent Dabwido on Monday night.

Mr Dabwido says the measure was needed to ensure access for government agencies to treasury funds and to bring the election forward by two weeks to June the 8th.

He said the election needed to be earlier to avoid clashes with budget processes.

But Mr Kun accuses his former leader of manufacturing false reasons for a state of emergency, and says the action is totally unwarranted.

"There is no legal reason for the state of emergency. The president did claim there were deficiencies in the budget. As minister of finance I disagree with that. It is normal for some of the sub heads to run a bit low towards the end of the financial year. We do have legal avenues to cover those. State of emergency is absolutely unnecessary."

Meanwhile, Mr Dabwido has denied that he has banned local media from speaking to politicians ahead of next week's election.

He says he's had enough of government MPs using the media to bicker at each other or discredit new candidates.

Mr Dabwido says what he has done is issue a directive to media that if any politician wants to be interviewed, it must go through him first.

If other members want to have a say and that, then I probably should see their text and context of what they're trying to say in the media because otherwise it'll be going back to the good old days where they promote themselves and put down up and coming members. So it's really a ban on politicians using the media for any political reason.