Marshall Islands names new finance minister
Marshall Islands President has named new finance minister, following fallout over UNESCO nomination.
The Marshall Islands President has named Jack Ading as the new finance minister, following last week's resignation of Dennis Momotaro.
Our correspondent Giff Johnson says Mr Momotaro's resignation was due to fallout over the nomination of the former Lebanese security chief Jamil el-Sayed as the Marshall Islands Ambassador to UNESCO.
The government withdrew its nomination after a French newspaper broke a story that el-Sayed had alleged ties to Hezbollah.
Giff Johnson spoke to Amelia Langford about why Mr Momotaro has chosen to step down.
GIFF JOHNSON: The last day of the parliament session in Majuro last week, the finance minister Dennis Momotaro resigned by delivering a public statement about stepping down from the cabinet and as a result of Minister Momotaro stepping down from the cabinet a new
AMELIA LANGFORD: Now has Dennis Momotaro made it clear why he is stepping down?
GJ: He broke ranks with other cabinet members during the vote of no confidence that was motivated by the UNESCO nomination and instead of voting against it, he abstained and abstention is counted as a yes vote in the final count. And what he said when he resigned, sometime later after that vote took place a couple of weeks back, he said that he had spoken to the president privately earlier to say he couldn't vote with the cabinet in the vote of no confidence and so pretty obviously his resignation from cabinet flowed from that decision.
AL: Right, so it was untenable for him to stay in that position?
GJ: Well, that's how he described it. He didn't go into great detail on it but he did say that publicly during the parliament session. So temporarily the president was the acting finance minister and then at the end of last week he appointed Jack Ading, who represents Enewetak, in the parliament to be the new finance minister and minister Ading was Finance minister for four years under previous ministrations.
AL: So the government has faced a bit of fallout over this. Are things quieting down a bit now?
GJ: Well, in terms of the political level I'd say certainly because the parliament is now out of session and pretty much once the vote of no confidence was held and it was defeated that's pretty much ended the discussion within the Nitijela, the parliament, with the exception of Senator Dennis Momotaro's resignation.
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