NAURU STILL ADRIFT, PARLIAMENT STYMIED

NAURU (Radio Australia, Jan. 30) - Nauru's parliament was adjourned until next Tuesday, after ministers were unable to elect a new speaker.

The country's 18-member assembly has been without a speaker since January 18, when the president, Rene Harris, was ousted in a no-confidence motion.

The newly elected president, Bernard Dowiyogo, has since been unable gain control of Nauru's parliament, with MPs evenly split between government and opposition supporters.

Parliamentary clerk Freddy Cain recently accepted a motion to suspend parliamentary business until next week, after no names were put forward as candidates for the position of speaker.

As a result of the deadlock, Dowiyogo has been unable to get his 2002-2003 budget approved by parliament.

Nauru's general elections are expected to take place on April 12.

January 30, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au

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