The resumption of Nitijela’s 37th Constitutional Regular Session Monday was cut short due to the introduction of a Vote of No Confidence (VONC) motion presented by opposition senators. Ebon Senator John Silk introduced the motion. The VONC document was pre-filed last week Thursday, which prompted Speaker Kenneth Kedi to recall Nitijela to receive the motion Monday. The pre-filed document was signed by Senators Tony Muller, Brenson Wase, Silk, Kalani Kaneko, Wilbur Heine, and Alfred Alfred Jr. — senators representing the three factions that have teamed up in an effort to unseat President Casten Nemra.
Speaker Kedi reminded the Nitijela that the VONC will not be discussed until next week Monday, a date that best fits the “not earlier than five days nor later than 10 days” requirement of the Constitution. After Silk initiated the motion, Kedi opened the floor for discussing the procedures of how the VONC will be conducted.
Silk proposed a motion for secret ballot that was seconded by a number of senators.
Internal Affairs Minister Daisy Alik-Momotaro questioned the motion, “why a secret ballot? And why a vote of no confidence? What are the issues behind this?”
Foreign Affairs Minister Kessai Note suggested that all past Nitijela journals be reviewed. And he requested a date for when the grounds will be provided and a few days for the Cabinet to respond.
Kedi, again, reminded not to discuss VONC except for the voting procedures.
“When will the grounds be provided? Everybody, especially the RMI people want to know,” said Senator Dennis Momotaro. “I apologize, but I asked because we are confused. Can the presentation (of grounds) speed up?”
“Like you said, one motion had no grounds,” said Senator Wase speaking to Kedi (basing his point on the mentioned no confidence vote against the government of Tomeing). There is no requirement as stated in Article 5, Section 7 of the Constitution, said Silk.
Vice Speaker Jejwarick Anton proposed a motion for Nitijela to return Monday, January 25, at 10am, which was endorsed by the chamber.
Read more about this in the January 22, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.