HARRIS STEPS DOWN IN NAURU, LEADERSHIP UNCERTAIN

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Jan. 20) - Rene Harris has stepped down as president of Nauru just a day after a court reinstalled him in the position.

Harris had been restored by Nauru’s Melbourne-based chief justice, Barry Connell, who ruled that the no-confidence vote which replaced Harris with former president Bernard Dowiyogo was invalid.

Harris and six of his ministers boycotted the January 8 vote, leaving only 11 of the parliament’s 18 members present.

The motion was passed by a vote of eight to three, one fewer than the number required by the constitution.

In a sitting of parliament on Saturday, Harris surrendered the presidency, leaving Dowiyogo and another former president, Kinza Clodumar, to win eight votes each in a contest to be the new president.

The Speaker then voted for Dowiyogo, while one member is absent sick in Australia.

It’s believed Clodumar will challenge the result when parliament meets today.

January 20, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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