Kiribati President denies govt behind early Parliament close

Kiribati President, Taneti Maamau Photo: RNZ Pacific / Koro Vaka'uta. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TARAWA, Nov 19, 2019, RNZ. Kiribati President Taneti Maamau has denied any government involvement in last week’s abrupt closing of Parliament, Radio New Zealand reported.

The Speaker’s adjournment of Parliament on Thursday scuttled the opposition’s plans to move a motion of no confidence against Mr Maamau.

The House of Assembly was due to run until Friday in its last session of the year and the opposition wanted to use its majority to oust the government.

Opposition leaders argued that by closing Parliament, the government was clinging to power.

But in a statement on Monday, Mr Maamau said the Speaker acted alone.

“Kiribati is a democratic government,” he said.

Last week, the Kiribati High Court had also ruled that Speaker Tebuai Uaai must allow the motion to go ahead.

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