Nauru defends suspending three MPs from parliament

Dr Kieren Keke. (File: AAP)

Nauru's government has defended its decision to suspend three opposition MPs out of parliament for talking to foreign journalists.

Former foreign minister Kieren Keke, Mathew Batsiua and Roland Kun have been suspended until they deliver a written apology to the island nation's legislature.

In a statement, Nauru's government said the MPs are guilty of "intending to inflict maximum damage to Nauru's reputation."

The statement went on to say: "Recent comments made in the foreign media by certain Members of the Parliament in the Opposition... detract from Nauru's development goals."

The three MPs have been critical of the government's decision to expel the country's chief justice, Australian Geoffrey Eames, in January and the dismissal of its only magistrate, Peter Law, who is also Australian.

Parliament has demanded the MPs publicise their apology through foreign media and renounce their earlier comments as contrary to the national interest.

Mr Kun and Mr Batsiua were absent from parliament at the time.

Dr Keke refused to leave the chamber and the speaker ordered police officers to remove him, before a stand-off ensued.
Justice Minister David Adeang claimed Dr Keke had inflamed the situation and was in contempt of parliament for not obeying the order.

"These MPs have done what no other country would deem acceptable - use the foreign media to trash our international reputation," he said in a statement.

He was not surprised the first thing Dr Keke did after the parliament suspended him was to talk to international media.

Mr Adeang also accused Dr Keke of trying to incite a riot by organising a protest outside Parliament House.

Dr Keke said the Nauru government was taking the country backwards 10 years.

"The sad and frustrating thing is that my beloved island home continues to suffer at the hands of self-serving fools," he said on Facebook.

If their actions weren't so damaging, the script would actually make an amusing show, he said.

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