Political turmoil disturbs Nauru

Nauru, the smallest member state of the Commonwealth, experienced a week of intense political upheaval in November. President Marcus Stephen resigned on 10 November amid allegations of corruption and kickbacks from phosphate revenues. Stephen denied the claims, arguing the evidence presented by MP David Adeang during a parliamentary session was taken out of context, but stepped down before a planned vote of confidence.

Stephen, who had served as head of government for four years, was replaced by Frederick Pitcher, former Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment. Pitcher was subsequently voted out of office, after only six days in the post, due to concerns over his personal agenda. Former telecommunications minister, Sprent Dabwido, switched alliances and helped oust Pitcher with a nine to eight vote in parliament, thus becoming Nauru’s third president in the space of a week. In a country without a political party system, Dabwido faces fluid alliances and more parliamentary scuffles as he pushes for constitutional reform and improved governance.


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