Nauru. The December 2007 election had resulted in a
balance in Parliament. Nine members supported the newly
elected President Marcus Stephen and just as many belonged
to the fierce opposition that sought to oust the government.
Countryaah reports, this led to a political stalemate of about four months, with
constant disputes in Parliament, which made it impossible to
make important decisions on, among other things. budget.
In February, in the midst of the political crisis, Nauru was
hit by a major economic hardship since Australia's new Prime
Minister had decided to close the country's refugee camp in
N. The camp, which was introduced in 2001 in accordance with
the so-called Pacific solution that went to Nauru in exchange.
Against financial support, Australia housed asylum seekers,
had been severely criticized by human rights organizations
but was important to Nauru as both a source of income and a
workplace. According to the Foreign Minister, the camp
accounted for one-fifth of Nauru's GDP.
As compensation for the closed camp, in July, Australia
allocated $ 29 million in development aid to Nauru for
2008-2009. The money would go to health care, education and
infrastructure, but the agreement contained nothing about
how Nauru would develop his economy to become self-sufficient,
as critics in Australia remarked.
On March 8, a group of hundreds of protesters set fire to
the country's largest police station. The group had
participated in a protest action against the loading of
phosphate in Nauru's harbor. Many of the protesters were
arrested and the police hired hundreds of civilians,
including students, to help preserve the peace of the
streets. The direct cause of the attack on the police
station was unclear, but phosphate is a very important issue
in N. Phosphate carried the country's economy for several
decades, but exports had fallen sharply in the early 2000s
when phosphate began to run out. In 2008, however, phosphate
mining resumed, which again became profitable as a result of
rising world market prices.
In April, President Stephen announced a state of
emergency to get out of the political deadlock. In this way
he was able to dissolve parliament and announce new
elections. The April 26 election was won by the government
side, which got twelve of the 18 seats in parliament. The
opposition thus lost three and received six seats. The
result was that parliamentary work could work again after
over four months of downtime.
On July 4, veteran politician and former president Rene
Harris died in a heart attack, 61 years old. Harris had been
a Member of Parliament for 31 consecutive years until he
lost his seat in the April 2008 election. He was President
four times between 1999 and 2004. Because of the political
turbulence in the country, he could never sit for a full