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Politics of Nauru

Nauru is a democratic republic.


The country's 18-member Parliament is run under a British-style system. There is a loose multiparty system; the two main parties are the Democratic Party and Nauru Party (informal). Elections for the Parliament are held every three years; voting is compulsory for all citizens aged 20 or more.

The Parliament elects a president from amongst its members, who appoints a Cabinet of 5-6 people. The President is both the head of state and head of government.

A series of no-confidence votes, resignations and elections between 1999 and 2003 saw Rene Harris and Bernard Dowiyogo as President for numerous short periods during a period of political instability. Dowigoyo died in office on March 10, 2003, in Washington, D.C., after heart surgery. Ludwig Scotty was elected President on May 29, 2003, but this did not bring to an end the years of political uncertainty as he was replaced by Harris a few months later.

List of Presidents since independence

Name (birth-death)Dates of presidency
Hammer DeRoburt (1922-1992) 31.01.1968-22.12.1976
Bernard Dowiyogo (1946-2003) 22.12.1976-19.04.1978
Lagumot Harris (1938?-1999) 19.04.1978-15.05.1978
Hammer DeRoburt 15.05.1978-17.09.1986
Kennan Adeang 17.09.1986-01.10.1986
Hammer DeRoburt 01.10.1986-12.1986
Kennan Adeang 12.1986-12.1986
Hammer DeRoburt 12.1986-17.08.1989
Kenos Aroi 17.08.1989-12.12.1989
Bernard Dowiyogo 12.12.1989-22.11.1995
Lagumot Harris 22.11.1995-11.11.1996
Bernard Dowiyogo 11.11.1996-26.11.1996
Kennan Adeang 26.11.1996-19.12.1996
Rueben Kun 19.12.1996-13.02.1997
Kinza Clodumar (1944?-) 13.02.1997-18.06.1998
Bernard Dowiyogo 18.06.1998-27.04.1999
Rene Harris (1948-) 27.04.1999-20.04.2000
Bernard Dowiyogo 20.04.2000-30.03.2001
Rene Harris 30.03.2001-09.01.2003
Bernard Dowiyogo 09.01.2003-17.01.2003
Rene Harris 17.01.2003-18.01.2003
Bernard Dowiyogo 18.01.2003-10.03.2003
Derog Gioura (1931?-) 10.03.2003-29.05.2003
Ludwig Scotty29.05.2003-08.08.2003
Rene Harris 08.08.2003-

The President's official residence is State House; however, the building was recently burned down during riots over the government's policy with respect to asylum seekers.

Legal System

Nauruan law is based on British common law and Acts of the Nauru Parliament. Decisions are made by the Supreme Court.

International organization participation:

Nauru is a member of the following organisations: Asian Development Bank, The Commonwealth, ESCAP, ICAO, ICC, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, ITU, OPCW, Pacific Islands Forum, Pacific Community, Sparteca, United Nations, UNESCO, UPU, WHO

See also