Nauru. In January, President René Harris was put to a vote of no confidence in Parliament. He had not received his budget bill and the opposition accused him of mismanaging the country’s economy. Harris had also been criticized for accepting asylum seekers in Australia in exchange for aid. He was replaced by former President Bernard Dowiyogo. A few days later, the vote of no confidence was annulled by the Supreme Court, which reinstated Harris. However, he resigned and Parliament elected Dowiyogo as president. According to Countryaah.com, Nauru Independence Day is January 31. Parliament could not adopt the state budget because the opposition refused to cooperate to appoint a new president. The economic crisis worsened. From January to March, Nauru was also cut off from the outside world since the country’s telecommunications system crashed. In early March, Dowiyogo died of an acute heart disease during a business trip in the United States. As Acting President until the May elections, parliamentarian Derog Gioura was appointed. At the end of March, Parliament banned the offshore banks, which have been used for tax evasion and money laundering. The decision came after threats of sanctions from the OECD, which later removed Nauru from his black list of tax havens.
In the May 3 election, six new members joined Parliament. The most important election issues were the corruption and neglect of the country’s once-important phosphate resources, which are now almost completely depleted. The Nauru First Party, which says it wants to fight corruption, expanded its representation from one to three places. At the end of May, Fabian Ribauw from Nauru First Party was appointed new President. Ludwig Scotty, a minister of the former government, was elected president. But already in August, Scotty lost a vote of no confidence in Parliament and was forced to resign. Later, René Harris was re-elected president.
More than 40 refugees, most Afghans, at an Australian detention camp in Nauru began a hunger strike on December 10 in protest against Australia refusing to process their asylum applications. At least 18 of them had to be taken to hospitals because of dehydration. Finance Minister Kinza Clodumar criticized Australia for not providing adequate asylum seekers, which is contrary to the two countries’ agreements on refugee reception.