10 Nov 2011

Nauru's president quits after kickback claim

9:45 pm on 10 November 2011

Nauru's president, Marcus Stephen, has resigned amid allegations of corruption.

The PACNEWS agency says the speaker of Nauru's parliament announced the resignation on Thursday. The ABC quotes opposition MP Baron Waqa as saying Mr Stephen stepped down to avoid being removed from office.

Last month, opposition member David Adeang used parliamentary privilege to read out an email, claiming it was correspondence between Mr Stephen and a phosphate dealer in which Mr Stephen allegedly asks for a kickback on a sale.

Last week, Mr Adeang tabled a motion of no-confidence in the president, which was due to have been heard on Thursday.

Mr Stephen came to power four years ago soon after Mr Adeang was forced out of the government in which he was foreign minister over allegations of links with corrupt Asian businessmen.

The new president will be Freddie Pitcher, a former minister of commerce, industry and environment.