Marshallese general election, 2007
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the Marshall Islands
A general election was held in the Marshall Islands on 19 November 2007.
Due to delays in opening the polling stations (while they were meant to open at 7 AM, some did not open until midday and one did not open before 4 PM) polling continued until after midnight. While only 36,000 people were eligible to vote, the large number of postal ballots meant that results were not to be known before 4 December.
Early results with 40% of the vote counted indicate a number of government party members may lose their seats, meaning it is possible that the opposition has won the election. On 30 November, the opposition Aelon Kein Ad declared victory, claiming it had already won 15 of the 17 seats necessary for a majority and that it expected to gain about 20 to 22 seats.
One of the election issues was whether to switch recognition from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China, with the opposition in favour of recognising the PRC instead. However, Aelon Kein Ad stated on 28 November that they would not end ties with the ROC if they won the election.
The final vote count began on 4 December 2007. The opposition officially voiced their protest when the election website had not been updated by 8 December since the preliminary results were published on 27 November, questioning the legality of the recounting of votes from the outer islands, allegedly an attempt to change the results in four very close seats. The opposition party also claimed to have the necessary 17 senators to govern.
Final, unofficial results were released on 10 December; the candidates then had two weeks to file recount petitions and court challenges. As both the ruling United Democratic Party and the opposition Aelon Kein Ad claim to have the 17 MPs required to form a government, and since two seats were decided by a single vote and two others by five votes, many recount petitions are expected to be filed.
Figures from 12 December indicated that President Kassai Note's United Democratic Party had 14 seats while the opposition United People's Party (which forms part of the Aelon Kein Ad coalition), led by former speaker Litokwa Tomeing, had 15 seats. Aelon Kein Ad continues to claim they have the 17 seats necessary to govern, and the election will likely be decided by the courts.
In early January 2008, the Republic of China accused the People's Republic of China of interfering in the post-election process in a bid to help the opposition; Taiwan claim's the PRC hopes to have the Marshall Islands switch recognition to the PRC if the opposition comes to power.
According to the results of the 2008 presidential election and the results of the election of the speaker, the opposition (consisting of Aelon Kein Ad and the UPP) seems to have either 18 or 17 seats, as opposed to the former government's 15 or 16 seats.
|Most of the MPs elected are either members of the United Democratic Party or Aelon Kein Ad.|
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