Former Nauru President Russ Joseph Kun’s ouster in a vote of no confidence was mainly due to “complicated domestic political disputes” despite the initiators of the motion being “China-friendly,” an unnamed diplomatic source told reporters in Taiwan Tuesday.
The source made the remarks after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday congratulated David Adeang after the senior Nauru parliamentarian was elected the new president of its Pacific ally earlier in the day.
The election of a new president took place after a vote of no confidence was proposed and passed last Wednesday against Kun, who became president in September 2022.
The source said that fortunately, Nauru’s new leader Adeang and his cabinet were even more supportive of ties with the Republic of China (ROC), the official name of Taiwan.
The Nauru government did not explain why a vote of no confidence was initiated against Kun in the first place.
Kun concluded a visit to Taiwan from 08-12 OCtober. Local media and scholars have speculated that his ouster could deal a blow to ROC-Nauru diplomatic ties.
Asked to comment on the incident, the unnamed diplomatic source told local media on Tuesday that the no-confidence vote against Kun was raised by very few “China-friendly parliamentarians,” although the main initiators of the motion were considered pro-Beijing.
However, the source said, it was complicated domestic political issues and personal disputes among parliamentarians rather than China that were the main reason the vote of no confidence was called.
Ultimately, the Nauru parliament elected President Adeang, who has long been friendly toward Taiwan and most recently visited the country twice in 2019 while serving as justice minister, the source added.
Adeang, the longest-serving member of Nauru’s parliament, also accompanied former Nauru President Ludwig Scotty for a visit to Taipei in 2005 when the latter signed an agreement to re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries, the source said.
Meanwhile, Adeang’s newly formed cabinet includes many Taiwan-friendly members such as Lionel Aingimea, a former Nauru president who now serves as the country’s foreign minister, the source said.
According to the source, the new president and the makeup of his cabinet meant that diplomatic relations between Taiwan and Nauru had not been affected by the change in government.
The ROC first established diplomatic relations with Nauru in 1980 before the Pacific island cut ties with Taipei and recognised Beijing in July 2002.
In May 2005, the ROC and Nauru re-established diplomatic relations and opened embassies in each other’s capitals, under then-President Scotty. Beijing consequently severed its relations with Nauru.
SOURCE: CENTRAL NEWS AGENCY/PACNEWS