Parliamentary Chamber: Parliament


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Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  3 May 2003

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  On 3 May 2003, voters turned out to elect the 18 members of the Parliament. Candidates included some of the country's most senior current and former public servants, such as the President, Mr. Derog Gioura, and Mr. Rene Harris, who had served as President for two years until he was ousted in January 2003.

Nauru's worsening economy was a major campaign issue, with an emphasis on the cash flow crisis. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had declared that the country was in deep economic trouble and that matters were getting worse. Indeed, the ADB had stated that despite the help both the bank and the Australian aid agency, AusAID, had given to Nauru to improve its economic management, there had been little improvement.

Public servants in Nauru received their first pay packet in months just one day before the elections. There had been a steady stream of public servants lining up at the government's salary office and a crowd gathered outside the Bank of Nauru to collect wages. President Derog Gioura admitted that his government's severe cash flow problems could damage some MPs' re-election prospects.

Just under four and a half thousand people were eligible to vote.

In the new Parliament, six new members were voted in while 12 retained their seats. The latter group included the current President, Derog Gioura, and two former Presidents, Rene Harris and Kinza Cloudamar. Nauru's greatest sporting hero, former Commonwealth gold medal winning weightlifter, Mr. Marcus Stephen, was also elected.

Three members of the Nauru First Party were elected, while the other members elected were non-partisans. The Nauru First Party is a party composed of a group of younger Nauruans who have been producing a journal called the Visionary which has been highly critical of corruption. This party had presented a very detailed programme in the journal, pushing for open and effective government and changes to the Constitution.

On 6 May 2003, the newly-elected Members of Parliament elected Mr. Godfrey Thoma as the new Speaker. The Speaker resigned after just one day on the job, after Parliament had failed to elect a new President. After five attempts to elect a new Speaker, which failed because of an impasse among the 18 members divided in three factions and unwilling to put forward nominations for this position, Mr. Fabian Ribauw from the Nauru First party was elected to the post on 29 May 2003.

On the same day, Mr. Ludwig Scotty, a former minister in the previous administration, was elected as the country's new President.


Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Independents 15
Nauru First Party (NFP) 3

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 18
Women: 0
Percent of women: 0

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Copyright 2003 Inter-Parliamentary Union