YAREN (RNZ PACIFIC) — The elevation of long time Nauru politician David Adeang to the country’s presidency is raising concerns in a number of areas.
Adeang has become Nauru’s fourth president in the past four years after winning election on Monday following the removal of Russell Kun in a vote of no confidence last week.
His 22 years in parliament has seen him involved in a number of controversial actions.
Massey University senior security lecturer Anna Powles considers the most contentious of which was the removal of the chief justice and the resident magistrate.
It was followed up by the suspension of five opposition MPs from parliament and controversial legislative changes.
“He has been widely criticised, outside Nauru, for his role in that,” Powles said.
“There are absolutely concerns about the future in Nauru for the judiciary in light of his return to power as president.”
“There have been very serious concerns about the way in which the judiciary in Nauru has been treated”- Anna Powles
Regarding those five MPs, one of whom was a former president, an Australian judge Geoffrey Muecke was brought in by the Nauru government to hear their trial after charges were brought against them and 14 others for a protest outside parliament over the removal of the judiciary and suspension of the MPs.
Judge Muecke called the actions of the Nauru government “shameful”.
He eventually granted the protesters, who had become known as the Nauru 19, a permanent stay, after concluding they could not get a fair trial in Nauru because of continued government interference.
But that stay was overturned and the ‘Nauru 19’ were then tried and found guilty.
They could not defend themselves because they were denied legal aid by the court.
Adeang has also been embroiled in an ongoing investigation into corruption involving alleged kickbacks in the country’s phosphate industry.
RNZ Pacific has made multiple requests to the Nauru government for an interview with Adeang…. PACNEWS