The Nauruan people went to the polls last Saturday, re-electing the government of President Baron Waqa to its 19-member parliament. In just the second media release since the President claimed victory, the Nauruan Justice Minister David Adeang attacked the Australian and New Zealand media, saying that journalists should show more respect to the people and government of Nauru. He singled out the ABC, Fairfax, The Guardian and Radio New Zealand. “[Certain media outlets have] unethically attempted to influence our domestic politics by spreading lies, promoting Opposition MPs and refusing to report the huge progress Nauru has made over the past three years under the Waqa Government.”
He also said that the media had been left “humiliated” by the result:
“These activist-journalists kept saying we were stifling democracy, yet Nauru has always championed democracy, and this election was held under the scrutiny of international observers.”
“They lied about us ignoring the rule of law, but have refused to report the fact that our courts — thanks to our reforms — are now among the most independent and respected in the Pacific.
Adeang said the island nation was under scrutiny because of media organisation’s agenda against the Australian government, but that Nauruans are “sick of the lies and the lack of respect of our sovereignty”.
“They now must accept the will of the Nauruan people in a democratic vote, respect our country, our Government and the fact that we are a sovereign country not beholden to them, and start reporting the truth.”