22 Dec 2016

Seats in Marshalls' constitutional convention to be hotly contested

3:54 pm on 22 December 2016

More than 140 people have registered to run for 45 seats in next year's constitutional convention in the Marshall Islands.

Ebeye looking north

Ebeye looking north Photo: Anjojo Kabua

Many of the Republic's 33 MPs will be competing with members of the public for seats in a February election, while 24 chiefs will contest 12 seats reserved for traditional leaders.

Our correspondent Giff Johnson said the most high-profile proposed amendment was a change from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government.

But he said it's a long process for amendments to get the go-ahead.

"The parliament has to put amendments on the table, then the Con-Con itself has to review those and adopt change, and then they have to get put out to the public for approval. So there's a long way to go still to see what will actually come out from the Con-Con," said Giff Johnson.

Mr Johnson said the public has voted against all substantive proposed amendments in previous constitutional conventions.