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Jurelang Zedkaia becomes new Marshall Islands President
1:56 pm GMT+12, 26/10/2009, Marshall Islands

The Marshall Islands parliament has elected the Speaker, Jurelang Zedkaia, as its fifth President.

The vote for Mr Zedkaia was 17-15, the same as during last Wednesday’s vote of no confidence, giving him the bare one-vote minimum needed to win the presidency in the 33-seat parliament.

He defeated a former President Kessai Note, who was the only other nominee.

The vote followed three days of tense and bitter debate over the vote of no confidence that ousted former President Iowa Tomeing.

Mr Zedkaia, like Mr Tomeing, is a traditional chief, which was a key element in his election.

He is a paramount chief for the capital atoll of Majuro, has presided over the parliament since January 2008, and was a vice speaker in earlier administrations. Mr Zedkaia is also a five-term senator.

The latest change of leadership underscored the fracturing of political parties caught up in the instability of the past year


SOURCE:: RNZI/PACNEWS


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