20 Oct 2008

Vote of no confidence in the Marshall Islands Government

5:13 pm on 20 October 2008

Marshall Islands opposition senators say they don't have the numbers yet, but hope by tomorrow that they will be able to attract two more to win a vote of no confidence against President Litokwa Tomeing and the government.

The Speaker Jurelang Zedkaia announced earlier today that the vote will happen on Tuesday.

Since Mr Tomeing's election in January, his government has held an 18-15 majority in the Parliament.

That majority will be tested Tuesday by the first vote of no confidence in seven years.

Foreign Minister Tony deBrum says the opposition will not get the 17

votes it needs to pass.

Opposition Senators John Silk and Gerald Zackios, both Cabinet ministers in the previous government, concede they have only 15 votes, but are hopeful government party senators will join them on Tuesday.

The Opposition has criticised the government for what it claims are worsening relations with the U.S. government, which supplies more than 60 percent of the country's 124 million US dollar annual budget.

But Mr deBrum says these are questions the Government has been addressing all of this session.

He says most intelligent people understand the answers.