KEEPING an ear on what the locals on Nauru call the coconut wireless will be critical for Prime Minister Julia Gillard to see her new Pacific solution take root.
The rugged town council-style of politics in the island nation makes the backstabbing and intrigue of the Australian Labor Party look tame.
The mayor-like role in charge of Nauru - a country of barely 10,000 that made its fortune from phosphate mining - has the rather grand title of president, and why not with a vote equal to China in the General Assembly of the United Nations?
Across just six days last year, three men claimed the job by shifting allegiance and striking a coalition of convenience - all in a parliament of only 18 MPs.
Marcus Stephen had been in charge until November, when he resigned amid corruption allegations. His replacement, Freddie Pitcher, won Mr Stephen's vote along with seven other MPs - nine being the required majority in Nauru's parliament after a Speaker is elected.
From here the story gets complicated. A few days later, a member of Mr Pitcher's camp defected and ousted him in a motion of no confidence. The defector, Sprent Dabwido, then formed government with the opposition, making himself president.