Nauru’s Parliament has elected Member of Parliament from Ubenide, David Adeang as the Pacific nation’s new President.
The member for Menen, Lionel Aingimea nominated David Adeang who accepted the nomination while the member from Buada, Bingham nominated Delvin Thoma from the constituency of Aiwo.
A secret ballot was conducted today and after votes were collected and counted, which resulted in another tie with David Adeang and Delvin Thoma receiving nine votes each.
The incumbent President Russ Kun then addressed Parliament calling on leaders to work together to resolve the current political impasse – announcing that he would vote for David Adeang.
The Speaker, Marcus Stephen asked if members wanted to take a short break or continue with the vote. The House continued after 10 members voted to continue with voting against 8 who wanted a short break.
At the end of the second round of secret ballot, the Speaker of Parliament, Marcus Stephen announced that David Adeang received 10 votes and Delvin Thoma eight.
The Speaker then declared David Adeang the new President of the Republic Nauru.
Adeang is the longest serving MP in the current parliament, having launched his political career when he first stood in the 2001 general elections.
He also served as the Speaker of Parliament in 2004 and 2008 and held a number of cabinet portfolios including minister assisting the president as well as finance and justice, the Nauru government said in the statement.
He was a long-time finance minister in Nauru and along with former president, Baron Waqa, was accused of receiving kickbacks from a phosphate exporting company.
They have both denied they were involved and although an Australian Federal Police investigation into the event was launched in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul told RNZ Pacific that Adeang, was his “preferred choice” of the candidates.
He said unlike other Nauru presidents, whom he has described as “ruthless and corrupt”, Adeang was someone who was a little more sympathetic to the refugee situation.
“I would be hoping that he would be taking a much more critical view of [the Australian government] using Nauru as a detention centre than the previous president.”
However, Rintoul added “I don’t really hold any hope that he’s about to close down the tension on the room anytime soon.”
In 2016, Adeang said he understood a lack of long-term solutions was distressing for refugees on Nauru.
SOURCE: PACNEWS/RNZ PACIFIC