Nauru. In January, it was clear that the Russian Federation had promised Nauru a $ 50 million aid package, which would go to developing the country’s port, airport, hospitals and schools, among other things. In return, Nauru would approve of the Russian-backed Georgian outbreak states of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. According to COUNTRYAAH, Nauru has a population of 12,704 (2018). Representatives of Nauru had already promised this December in the previous year.
Otherwise, the year was marked by political struggles and a paralyzed parliament. The disputes began before a vote of no confidence in President Marcus Stephen on February 17. On the same day, opposition minister David Adeang, former minister, would return to Parliament after being ruled out in July 2009. He was ruled out for making derogatory comments about the President and two other members of government. Adeang would be allowed to return to Parliament after apologizing to the three politicians. He himself said that the police first prevented him from entering the building. The reason was, according to Adeang, that the president was afraid of being cast down in the vote of no confidence. If Adeang took his seat in parliament, the opposition could get a majority in the vote.
In any case, Adeang could regain his seat in Parliament and take part in the vote of no confidence held on the same day. After all, President Stephen got enough votes and could remain as president.
On February 27, a referendum on constitutional reforms that had been proposed the year before was held. The reform proposals were aimed, among other things, at reducing the power of politicians and, for example, letting the people elect the country’s president directly instead of being elected by the MPs. Work on reforming the Constitution, which was written before independence in 1968, had begun in 2004. Two thirds of those who participated in the referendum said no to the reform proposals, an equal proportion that would have had to say yes for the changes to have been approved.
In mid-March, the opposition once again tried to trap Stephen in a vote of no confidence. That was unsuccessful, but Stephen ordered the dissolution of Parliament so that elections could be held a year earlier than planned. In the election, which was held in April, all members were re-elected. Thus, the stalemate continued in Parliament, where the government side and the opposition had nine seats each.
In mid-May, two months after the election, Parliament managed to agree on a new President, Godfrey Thoma. President Stephen said that once Parliament worked well, he wanted to reform and expand Parliament with a mandate to avoid deadlock in the future. After only a few days, however, the new President resigned. The same thing happened to the next President, who was elected in early June and who only sat for three days.
President Stephen declared the state of emergency in this state because the state budget for the year was not yet adopted. He also announced new elections until June 19. Stephen was aware that the election might not resolve the deadlock, but he said he had no other choice because the government’s money was running out. The result of the election was that 17 of the 18 MPs were re-elected. A new member came into Parliament and it was unclear whether he would join the government side or the opposition, so the deadlock continued.
The president gradually extended the state of emergency. In this way, he could, through decree, update the parliamentary sessions in anticipation of the members agreeing on who would become president. Stephen said he was prepared to leave room for another candidate.
In mid-July, the president dismissed newly elected President Aloysius Amwano for impeding Parliament, according to Stephen, from electing a new president. According to the president, the government side had a majority in this position.
In November, Stephen was re-elected by a three-year majority, which allowed Parliament to start working again after being paralyzed for eight months. It became possible after the former President Ludwig Scotty had accepted the President’s post. This election gave the government side a scarce majority in parliament. Parliament could now also approve the budget, almost four months after it was due.