31 Dec 2009

Big changes expected when Marshall Islands Parliament opens Monday

4:44 pm on 31 December 2009

The Marshall Islands Parliament opens its first session of 2010 on Monday with the new Speaker, Alvin Jacklick, promising reforms aimed at cutting spending, improving the quality of legislation and to demonstrate MPs are earning their salaries.

He has also announced he is shuffling the seats of MPs, but that is just a hint of bigger restructuring plans on his agenda for the Marshall Islands parliament.

Mr Jacklick says there is no question that the Nitijela must reform.

He says he wants to refocus the members on their primary constitutional duty of enacting legislation, and for parliament staff, he aims to elevate their professionalism, capacity and provision of services to the members.

Mr Jacklick was elected in late October following a vote of no confidence that toppled then-President Litokwa Tomeing and vaulted then-Speaker Jurelang Zedkaia into the presidency.