NAURU HAS NEW PRESIDENT: WEIGHTLIFTER MARCUS STEPHEN

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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Times, Dec. 19) - Nauru's president, Ludwig Scotty, has been removed in a no-confidence vote in the island nation's 18-seat parliament yesterday.

A report by the International Herald Tribune states that President Ludwig Scotty was ousted on Wednesday 'after a group of lawmakers accused his government of taking no action on corruption allegations, a spokesman for the opposition group said'. In his place, Marcus Stephen, Nauru's former champion weightlifter and a Commonwealth Games medalist, was elected as the new president.

According to the report, the no-confidence vote followed defections by Scotty supporters to a political faction led by former health minister, Kieren Keke. Mr. Keke had apparently accused Mr. Scotty of failing to act on corruption allegations against his deputy, Foreign Minister, David Adeang, alleging that Adeang was at the center of "serious allegations of improper conduct" involving Asian businessmen.

Earlier in November, there was an attempt to remove Mr. Scotty through a no-confidence vote, however, this failed as the votes failed to reach the necessary number.

The removal of President Ludwig is the second removal in a matter of two weeks for the region, following last week's removal Solomon Islands' Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, who was also ousted in a no-confidence vote.

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