Nauru History and Politics

By | January 24, 2022


The events prior to its colonization at the end of the 19th century are little known due to the lack of written sources and the almost absence of archaeological data. Subsequent events are closely linked to the history of its only wealth: phosphate.

It was probably initially populated by Melanesians and Micronesians. It suffered a second wave of migration with settlers from the Chinese coast who arrived on the island through the Philippines around 1200 BC. C. The island was discovered for the Europeans by the British captain John Fearn. It was colonized and came under the power of several countries, Germany in 1888, Australia in 1920, Japan between 1940 and 1945 and again Australia in 1947 after World War II. Nauru achieved its independence from Australia in 1968 and was accepted as a member of the United Nations in 1999.

Starting in 1903, the island’s phosphate deposit was exploited by various colonial or state companies. This phosphate was almost the only source of resources on the island for almost a century and ensured a very high standard of living for the Nauruans for several decades. The depletion of reserves added to poor economic policies led Nauru into bankruptcy and political instability beginning in the 1990s. Trying to diversify the sources of economic resources, Nauru tried to increase its income through money laundering, the sale of passports and the sale of its votes in international organizations. Arrival 2004 A new government and the adoption of a new economic policy seemed to lead to greater transparency in the finances of the Nauruan state.

Commission took the necessary steps to repatriate the Nauruans who were in Chuuk and who were transferred to Nauru by the BPC “Trienza” transport in January 1946 In 1947, the United Nations approved a treaty by which Australia, New Zealand and the The United Kingdom took control of the island again. Nauru achieved its autonomy in January 1966, and after a two-year constitutional convention achieved independence in 1968 led by President Hammer DeRoburt. In 1967, the Nauruans bought the asset from the British Phosphate Commissioners, and in June 1970, the island took control of the deposits in the area creating the Nauru Phosphate Corporation. The income earned from the exploitation of phosphate gave the Nauruans a very high standard of living in the context of the Pacific Ocean.

In 1989, the country filed a lawsuit against Australia in the International Court of Justice over Australia’s actions during its Nauru administration, in particular Australia’s failure to remedy the environmental damage caused by phosphate mining. The lawsuit ended with a private settlement, whereby the damaged areas had to be rehabilitated and the extracted waste had to be taken out of Nauru. Declining phosphate reserves have led to an economic crisis in Nauru and increasing political instability since the mid- 1980s. Nauru has undergone 17 changes in administration between 1989 and [[]] 2003.


According to politicsezine, Nauru is a parliamentary republic. The parliament, which consists of 18 members and is elected by suffrage every three years, elects a president from among its members, who in turn appoints a cabinet of between five and six ministers. The president is at the same time the head of state and of government. There is a multiparty system although with few differences in their organizations. The main parties are the Nauru First (the only formal party in the country), the Democratic Party, and the Center Party.

Between 1999 and 2004 there has been a series of disapproving votes to the government that have led to the calling of elections, which has led to an alternation of René Harris and Bernard Dowiyogo in the presidency. Dowiyogo died as president on March 18, 2003 in Washington DC after heart surgery. Ludwig Scotty was elected president on May 29, 2003 and although it was thought that the years of instability would end, in August 2003 there was another vote of confidence lost by the government. Harris again got enough support to return to the presidency.

The current president of Nauru is Ludwig Scotty who declared a state of emergency on October 1, 2004 and dissolved parliament after failing to pass the state budget. The early elections of October 24 favored his party, giving it a large majority, which allowed him in November 2004 to approve the first budget adjusted to the new economic reality of the island.

Nauru History