28 Feb 2009

Marshall Islands coalition government appears to be under pressure

12:17 pm on 28 February 2009

The Marshall Islands coalition government appears to be under pressure after the sacking of the Foreign Minister.

Tony deBrum lost his position after criticising the President during a parliamentary debate that was being broadcast.

Mr deBrum believes the President, Litokwa Tomeing, who had previously been allied to the ruling grouping within the last government, had slowly been slipping away from the coalition's agreed policies:

"One is settlement of the Kwajalein issue and nuclear claims issues. On both issues he has come up with statements supporting the past government's position, namely that the offer of the United States on Kwajalein should be accepted, and secondly that the Marshall Islands government itself should be responsible the paying claims of its citizens against the United States."

Mr deBrum says those positions are so different from the coalition agreement and someone had to speak up.

He says the President has been sent a letter by the majority of government members describing the his actions as unacceptable.

The President has not made any statement since the sacking, but his office says he is involved in meetings to find a resolution to the situation