21 Feb 2014

Nauru president confident in corruption fight

4:43 pm on 21 February 2014

Nauru's president, Baron Waqa, says his government has stared down its critics to keep a reform agenda on track.

Mr Waqa says the first priority was cleaning up cronyism and corruption.

Don Wiseman has more:

"Last week cabinet minister Charmaine Scotty said the chief justice was removed because of cronyism - charges Justice Geoffrey Eames has strongly rejected. Also last week the Nauru government made commitments to New Zealand, which provides aid to the justice sector, to be transparent in the way it fills new judicial offices, following the controversial removal of Mr Eames and the deportation of the resident magistrate. But Mr Waqa claims the government was elected with a mandate to take the country in a new direction, creating a level playing field on which all Nauruans could prosper. Mr Waqa says the island is making economic progress and living standards are rising, though he does not mention this has been achieved through huge aid spending by Australia on its asylum seeker camps. He says his government is creating a healthier nation through greater access to fresh food, has prioritised fairer deals for landowners, toughened immigration laws and made sure negotiations with Australia over the camps are done with Nauru's interests in mind."