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Parliament name Parliament
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU No
Affiliation date(s)
President Cyril Buraman (M) 
Notes Elected on 12 July 2016.
Secretary General Ann-Marie Cain (F) 
Notes Appointed on 11 April 2013.
Members (statutory / current number) 19 / 19

More statistics  >>>
Women (current number) 2 (10.53%)
Mode of designation directly elected 19
Term 3 years
Last renewal dates 9 July 2016
11 July 2016 (View details)
Address Parliament of Nauru
Parliament House
Yaren District
NAURU ISLAND, Central Pacific
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (674) 444 3133 (ext. 220, 221, 342)
E-mail infonauruparl@gmail.com


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Electoral law 10 March 2016
Last updated: 9 June 2016
Mode of designation directly elected 19
Constituencies 8 multi-member constituencies.
Voting system Majority: Dowdall system (a modified Borda-count system, applied to multi-member constituencies instead of single-member constituencies).
Each voter indicates his/her preferences by marking each box on the ballot paper with sequential numbers, placing a '1' next to their preferred candidate, a '2' next to their second preference and so on. Voters must rank their preference for all candidates listed on the ballot for their vote to be validated.
Every preference carries a value, and the value of all preferences is tallied. A first preference has the value of 1, and second preference is valued at 0.5, a third preference at 0.33 and so on. The total number of values of the various preferences for each candidate is tallied to calculate the total value of the votes they have received. In two-member constituencies, the two candidates with the highest total of votes calculated in accordance with the fractional value of each vote are elected. In the four-member constituency, the four members with the highest total of votes calculated in accordance with the fractional value of each vote are elected.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voting is compulsory. Failure to vote is punishable by a fine of AU$ 6.
Voter requirements - age: 20 years
- Nauru citizenship
- residence in the country
Eligibility - age: 20 years
- Nauru citizenship
- residence in the country
- ineligibility: insanity, undischarged bankruptcy, sentence of death or imprisonment for at least one year.
Incompatibilities Not applicable.
Article 31 (e) of the Constitution provides that a person shall be disqualified if he/she "holds an office of profit in the service of Nauru or of a statutory corporation, being an office prescribed by law for the purposes of this paragraph". However, no such law has been passed prescribing prohibited offices, so the paragraph has no effect.
Candidacy requirements - Non-refundable nomination fee of AU$ 500.
- Written nominations must be submitted at least 14 days prior to polling day, signed by the candidate and two or more electors of his/her district.


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)9 July 2016
11 July 2016
Timing and scope of renewal In all, 13 outgoing members were re-elected to the 19-member Parliament, including President Baron Waqa and his justice minister David Adeang. Most of the members of the Government, including the sole woman member, retained their seats, although the Speaker, Ludwig Scotty, did not. On 12 July, Parliament re-elected Mr. Waqa as President by a vote of 16-2.

The 2016 elections followed two years of political turmoil, linked to the suspension of five opposition MPs. In the run-up to elections (March 2016), there was controversy over the Government's proposal to increase the fee for parliamentary candidates from AU$ 100 to AU$ 2,000. This increase was felt to limit participation in the electoral process, as there are no political parties and all candidates run as independents. The Government argued that it needed to raise money to fund the elections. A challenge was lodged with the Supreme Court. The Government subsequently lowered the nomination fee to AU$ 500, which was approved by Parliament on 9 June. Four of the five suspended members sought re-election in 2016 but only one member, Mr. Kieren Keke, was re-elected.

The 2016 elections were monitored by international observers for the first time. Commonwealth observers said: "The process was conducted in a peaceful environment and the voters were able to cast their votes freely without fear or intimidation."

Note on the election dates:
Elections in Aiwo constituency were delayed to 11 July because a candidate filed a legal challenge.
Date of previous elections: 8 June 2013

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 10 June 2016

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry*
*A general election is held within two months of a dissolution of Parliament.
A parliamentary term is "three years from and including the date of the first sitting".
Since the outgoing Parliament held its first sitting on 11 June 2013, the 2016 elections were held within the constitutional deadline.

Expected date of next elections: June 2019

Number of seats at stake: 19 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 67 (63 men, 4 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 6%

Number of parties contesting the election: Not applicable (there are no political parties)

Number of parties winning seats: Not applicable.

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: Not applicable.

Names of parties in government: Not applicable.

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 12 July 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Cyril Buraman
Voter turnout
Round no 1 (from/to)9 July 2016
11 July 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
6'469 (93.94%)

Notes The Electoral Act 2016 provided for the so-called "passive" voter registration system instead of the previous "active" voter registration system where Nauruan citizens above 20 years old were required to register in the voter lists. The number of registered voters has thus increased from 5,528 in 2013 to 6,886 in 2016.
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex


Percent of women


Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Note on the number of women:
One woman was elected in the July 2016 elections.
In January 2017, one more woman won a by-election to replace a male member passed away in December 2016, bringing the total number of women in Parliament to a record two (out of 19 members).

Parliament (12.07.2016, 15.07.2016, 01.02.2017)
Electoral Commission (13.12.2016)


Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Title Speaker of Parliament
Term - duration: 3 years (term of House); elected on 13 February 1997 after elections held on 8 February
- reasons for interruption of the term: removal by Parliament, resignation, death, dissolution of the Parliament
Appointment - elected by all Members of the Parliament
- election is held at the first meeting of the newly elected Parliament
- after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - any Member of the Parliament may be a candidate
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot
- if no candidate receives the majority of total votesin the first round, candidates with the lowest number of votes are eliminated, and a new vote is held
Procedures / results - the Clerk presides over the Parliament during the voting
- the Clerk supervises the voting
- the Clerk announces the results without any delay
- the results cannot be challenged
Status - ranks second in the hierachy of State
- represents the Parliament with the public authorities
- represents the Parliament in international bodies
- is ex officio Chairman of other committees
- in the absence of the Speaker, the Deputy Speaker can assume his/her role and functions
Material facilities - Speaker's allowance
- Member's allowance
+ entertainment allowance
- official residence
- official car

Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions mostly on advice from the President of the Republic
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting up of such committees
Chairing of public sittings - can open, adjourn and close sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Parliament
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Parliament according to precedents
Special powers - is Chairman of the House Committee which recommends the Parliament's budget
- appoints the Clerk
- organizes the services of Parliament
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Parliament
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- takes only part in casting votes
- intervenes in the parliamentary oversight procedure
- authenticates by his certificate all bills passed by the Parliament

This page was last updated on 7 March 2017
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