2016 Marshall Islands Election
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Nitijela Elects New President

On January 4, 2016, members of the Marshall Islands Parliament elected Senator Casten Nemra as President. Seventeen days later, a vote of no confidence was introduced by the opposition party and voted Senator Hilda C. Heine as President.

Senator Nemra won on a 17-16 count, and made him the youngest President at the age of 44. The Speaker and Vice-Speaker were elected from another party. President Nemra was the second "commoner" to be elected after serving eight years as Chief Secretary.

On January 27, a vote of no confidence was introduced - a move that was mostly interpreted as a shift in political alliance rather than a "no confidence" in his performance. The Nitijela elected Dr. Hilda C. Heine as the new president.

Senator Hilda C. Heine, who served previously as Minister of Education in the same party, shifted her political alliance to the other party, along with other senators. She was elected as President in a 24-9 count. President Hilda C. Heine is the first woman to be elected President in the Marshall Islands, and the first female head of state of any independent nation in the Pacific Islands.

The Pacific Island nations in this region are composed of Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Published on 20 January 2016.

Marshall Islands Election