22 Oct 2009

Marshall Islands Parliament has two weeks to choose a new President

6:11 am on 22 October 2009

The Marshall Islands President, Litokwa Tomeing, has lost a vote of no confidence, the first successful challenge since independence 30 years ago.

The vote was a close 17-15, but just met the Constitutional requirement of a majority of the 33-members of parliament, with many senators crossing the floor to vote out Mr Tomeing.

Mr Tomeing served as President for 22 months and was the target of three votes of no confidence, the first two unsuccessful.

Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says his demise was due to a number of factors.

"There were a bunch of issues but reality is there has been such a change of people in the cabinet in the last two years, it's been very difficult to get a grip on any issues in the last couple of years."

Parliament has two weeks from Friday to choose a new president.