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Marshall Islands Prez ousted in no-confidence vote

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 15:56

Majuro (Marshall Islands): Marshall Islands
President Litokwa Tomeing was defeated today in a vote of
no-confidence by legislators, who are due to elect a new
leader of the western Pacific nation on Friday.

The 17-15 result against Tomeing was the first successful
no-confidence vote in the 30-year history of constitutional
government in the former US Trust territory of around 55,000

The vote just achieved the required majority of the
33-members of parliament and followed a power struggle between
Tomeing and former president Kessai Note, who lost office
after elections in 2007.

Speaker Jurelang Zedkaia named Tomeing`s "minister in
assistance" Ruben Zackhras as acting president shortly after
the vote and called for the parliament, or Nitijela, to return
Friday to elect a new president.

Former president Note is vying to return to power and was
successful in persuading many senators to cross party lines to
bring down Tomeing`s government.

The vote this afternoon followed two-and-a-half days of
bitter debate in the legislative chamber.

Parliament`s legal counsel Divine Waiti told legislators
they had 14 days to elect a new president from Friday, which
means the deadline for electing a new president is November 5.

Tomeing served as president for 22 months and was the
target of two earlier unsuccessful votes of no confidence.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - 15:56
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