|Nauru's Parliament Speaker Vassal Gadoengin, 61, has died of a heart attack.
Gadoengin died on Wednesday in his chambers, a spokeswoman for the Nauru public affairs office in Melbourne, capital of Australia's state of Victoria, said.
Nauru's President Ludwig Scotty told parliament Thursday Gadoengin would be remembered for his valuable contributions as a member and speaker of parliament.
"This was his third term in parliament and he has served the people of this country in the capacity of minister of state, Speaker and as a backbencher," Australian Associated Press quoted the president as saying.
Nauru's Health Minister Kieren Keke said while Gadoengin's death will mean a by-election and there is no threat to the government's stability, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.
"We've got quite a strong majority now with 16 out of 18, now 15 out of 18 members supporting President Scotty," Keke was quotedas saying.
"So even if a member is elected that does not support President Scotty, we still have a very strong majority in parliament, and itwon't be affecting the political stability for this term of parliament, for the next three years," he said.
Parliament has been adjourned and a new speaker will be elected when it reconvenes next week. A state funeral for Gadoengin will be held next Monday.