30 Aug 2010

Marshall Islands Parliament Speaker working against the clock

7:07 pm on 30 August 2010

The Speaker of the Marshall Islands Parliament has only a matter of months to push his plan for political reform with elections set for late next year.

Alvin Jacklick has expressed worry about the country's heavy reliance on foreign aid, which now accounts for two-thirds of its annual budget.

Mr Jacklick has proposed reducing Parliament from 33 MPs to 20, and making it compulsory for government leaders to give full financial disclosure.

Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says Mr Jacklick is working against the clock with his propsal.

"One of the complications is that there's a national election at the end of 2011, which makes it a difficult matter to bring all of this up. But. I think what he's trying to do is put this out on the table, he's calling for a number of changes that would have to go for a public referendum."

Giff Johnson says while the proposal has just been released, it seems most sitting senators are against many of the reforms, while the general public has shown early support.