One fact apparent from the impending shakeup in Nitijela membership — as 14 seats out of 33 will change hands on January 4 — is that with so many new senators, neither the current government nor the opposition KEA group will control a majority of 17 needed to elect a president and form a government.
The president elected on January 4 will need the backing of a diverse range of senators given the lack of a “majority party.”
But Marshall Islands voters have produced a new and significant twist to the RMI’s political equation that will likely determine who becomes president.
The formation of an independent bloc of mostly younger, independent first-time senators are positioning themselves to be king makers. Calling themselves the “Solid Six,” this group stands out for another reason: They want change.
The Solid Six say reform is the centerpiece of their agenda and this will drive their choice for political alliance to establish a new government.
And, asserts Solid Six Senator-elect Alfred Alfred, Jr. of Ailinglaplap, this group of upstart Nitijela members-in-waiting may well be nine or 10 in the coming weeks as they reach out to other senators-elect.
The group that consists of Alfred and Senators-elect David Paul (Kwajalein), Sherwood Tibon (Majuro), Jejwarick Anton (Arno), Bruce Bilimon (Maloelap) and Casten Nemra (Jaluit) came up with the name Solid Six to show their unity as a force for change in the Nitijela, said Alfred.
“The result of the vote needs to be taken into account in forming a new government,” said Alfred. “If we don’t listen to the voters’ message, we will be doing a big disfavor (to the country).”
Read more about this in the December 11, 2015 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.