June 19, 2010, midnight
Despite a second round of snap parliamentary elections on Saturday, neither of two major factions has been able to form a majority in Nauru’s Parliament. Since the first round of early elections in April, members have been unable to elect a Speaker and therefore form a government. There are no formal political parties in Nauru, but Parliament is evenly divided between supporters and opponents of President Marcus STEPHEN. While Saturday’s elections saw independent candidate Milton DUBE replace a STEPHEN opponent, DUBE says he will join whichever coalition is most committed to the interests of his Aiwo constituency. The two rival factions spent the week competing for DUBE’s support. President STEPHEN stated that a new government should immediately implement reforms to prevent such a stalemate from happening in the future. His suggestions include increasing the number of MPs from 18 to 19 and selecting the Speaker from outside of Parliament. STEPHEN called April’s snap elections after several failed no-confidence votes against him. That election, however, returned every MP, continuing the hung parliament.