Marshalls move into final stages of national election tabulation

9:05 am on 3 December 2015

Marshall Islands' election officials moved into the final leg of ballot tabulation for the national election, with the beginning of the count of postal absentee ballots from offshore Marshall Islanders.

The initial count of postal ballots from Kwajalein showing 61 postal votes for Kwajalein confirms that incumbent Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony deBrum and incumbent senator Jeban Riklon have both lost their re-election bids for Kwajalein Atoll to opposition candidates.

Mr DeBrum was 252 votes behind in fourth place in a three-seat contest based on the domestic vote count and the postal ballots are the final ballots to be tallied.

Several boxes of postal absentee ballots at the Marshall Islands national election tabulation headquarters just prior to the start of vetting and counting of the ballots Tuesday.

Several boxes of postal absentee ballots at the Marshall Islands national election tabulation headquarters just prior to the start of vetting and counting of the ballots Tuesday. Photo: Hilary Hosia

The 263 postal ballots for Majuro, the capital, confirms the domestic vote results giving opposition incumbents and newcomers a sweep of all five Majuro seats for parliament.

On Wednesday night, chief Electoral Officer Robson Almen, just before the final tabulations got underway, said that an estimated 3,000 postal ballots were received, mostly from Marshall Islanders living in the U.S., but many were rejected for not following requirements.

Final unofficial election results may be issued by Friday this week.

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