31 Jan 2014

Nauru government reportedly preparing state of emergency laws

1:44 pm on 31 January 2014

The Nauru government is reportedly preparing to introduce a state of emergency in the country.

The government has deported key people such as the resident magistrate, Peter Law, and a former government media adviser Rod Henshaw.

Mr Law had granted an injunction on Mr Henshaw's deportation orders but a new law passed on Tuesday night has given the justice minister the power to cancel visas and deport people.

However, the government needs a two-thirds majority to remove the chief justice, and after Tuesday's legislation passed by 10 votes to 8, it appears that the government's majority is shrinking.

The opposition MP for Boe, Mathew Batsiua, says it would be illegal to declare a state of emergency, but everything else the government has done so far indicates it is quite possible.

"There was definite consideration. We heard from reliable sources that there was definite consideration but there was a lot of hesitation from the caucus members of the government so it is still 50-50 in my view. I am not sure what will happen."

Mathew Batsiua.