30 May 2013

Australia's detention centre stirs Nauru politics

6:43 pm on 30 May 2013

Ahead of next week's elections, Nauru's President says the reopening of Australia's asylum seeker camp on Nauru has been divisive in local politics.

Following months of political deadlock, Sprent Dabwido declared a state of emergency this week, claiming the country was in economic crisis, and bringing the election forward by two weeks.

Mr Dabwido says the deadlock was caused by MPs putting self-interest before the national interest, and getting involved in opportunities around the asylum seeker camp.

"We do not have laws that prevent our members of parliament and to some degreee some of our ministers, from getting involved in commercial activities that they have taken benefit of by their current position. So that's the whole problem that Nauru's facing. Before the arrival of the camp, everybody was working towards the same goal, everybody was on the same team."

To deal with this issue, Sprent Dabwido says he wants to implement ombudsman office and leadership code provisions into the constitution.