Hilda Heine Administration Hit With VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN NITIJELA

edited November 5 in General
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Hilda.Heine the current President of the RMI (Marshall islands)

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Senator.Casten Nemra from Jalool atoll

DEVELOPING STORY

The administration and cabinet of Hilda Heine was today hit with a motion of a VONC or Vote Of No Confidence.

The VONC was brought up in the Marshall islands parliament and from the looks of it its being led by none other than Casten Nemra. The one time President of the Marshalls whom was ousted by a VONC 4 years ago after 17 days of being nominated the RMIs President. Hilda voted Yes in the VONC AGAINST Casten.

The opposition led by Casten listed 5 reasons as to the reason behind to VONC AGAINST Hildas administration. Some them includes The Hilda administration Crypto-Currency venture which was supposed to deliver $357 million dollars to the government's revenue 5 months ago but it has never. The other reasons are misappropriations of government assests. Missing funds from the RMI General fund under Hildas administration and infringing the RMIs constitution specifically taking away the voting rights of RMI citizens abroad who are living in the U.S. and its territories. And allowing a Taiwanese businessman free reign and control in making rongelap atoll a special economic zone

The Hilda administration namely its cabinet ministers Former U.S Army serviceman Kalani Kaneko and David Krammer asked for reasons behind the VONC and the Speaker of the Nitijela Keidi told them in a scolding tone that their party didn't give a reason for their VONC against Castens administration in 2014.

What's remarkable about this is that both Hilda and Casten are blood relatives from Jalooj atoll like former RMI Presidents, Amata Kabua, Imata Kabua, Litokwa Tomeing & Kesai Note. But poltical parties have pitted them against each other. The RMI government is dominated by people from Jalooj and all of the country's former and present President have ancestral roots in Jalooj.

Hildas party is seen has the liberal side of the Nitijela while Castens side is seen as the conservative side.

On the 12th of this month of November 2018 Hildas administration fate will be decided. It is on that day that the Nitijela will vote on the Vote of no confidence.

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Comments

  • Good to see the RMI still has check and balance in their government. Back in FSM we just allow it to happen without doing anything.
  • The Hilda Heine administration refused to bring in the FBI to investigate the trust fund issue. The opposition claims the Hilda administration is behind or complicit in the stolen money from the RMI trust fund and that is why they refused a FBI investigation.
  • Plans for digital currency spark political crisis in Marshall Islands

    President Hilda Heine’s plan to adopt Sovereign cryptocurrency prompts no-confidence vote
    image The Marshall Islands president, Hilda Heine, says adopting the currency is “an alternate” way for the country to work towards financial self-sufficiency Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images
    The only female leader in the Pacific Islands is facing a no-confidence challenge after pushing ahead with the controversial introduction of a digital currency for the Marshall Islands.

    In February this year President Hilda Heine announced plans to introduce a cryptocurrency to operate as the country’s second legal tender alongside the US dollar, saying her country must not remain idle but “advance into the future”.

    The cryptocurrency, known as Sovereign or “Sov” was to be issued by an Israeli start-up company, which, according to the International Monetary Fund has “limited financial sector experience”.

    Heine said adopting the currency was “an alternate” way for the Marshall Islands to work towards financial self-sufficiency, and the Israeli start-up had not unduly pressured the government.

    “I don’t see any indication of us being harmed … this is not an illicit activity. This is not illegal and our laws will not be tarnished,” Heine said.

    On Monday eight senators introduced a vote of no confidence in the president.
    image Unemployment in the Marshall Islands is about 36% and many choose to leave in search of employment in the US. Photograph: Mae Ryan for the Guardian

    Heine was elected in 2016 and is the first female head of state in the Pacific Islands. She has earned a reputation as a passionate climate change advocate and has committed her country to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

    While Heine’s climate advocacy work has been widely praised by the international community, her plan to introduce the cryptocurrency has been criticised as fool-hardy. In September the IMF urged the Marshall Islands to “seriously reconsider” the plan, saying it “would increase macroeconomic and financial integrity risks”, tarnish the government’s financial reputation and make the country – which is heavily reliant on foreign aid – vulnerable to cybersecurity risks.

    In the report the IMF said the Israeli start-up charged with issuing Sovereign had not made plans for “transaction monitoring, reporting of suspicious transactions, compliance monitoring, and sanctioning of compliance failures”. It said all cryptocurrencies were at risk of being misused for “money laundering and terrorist financing” purposes.

    The no confidence vote has been schedule for 12 November.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/06/plans-for-digital-currency-spark-political-crisis-in-marshall-islands
  • Marshalls President Heine faces no confidence challenge

    By Giff Johnson. Copyright © 2018, Radio New Zealand
    image
    The first and only female head of state of an independent Pacific island faces her first vote of no confidence next week.

    Eight senators introduced a motion of no confidence in Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine on Monday, the last of 50 sitting days for the parliament session this year.

    The constitution requires a vote be held between five and 10 days after a no confidence motion is lodged in the Nitijela (parliament).

    Speaker Kenneth Kedi set Monday November 12 for the vote, which will be preceded by debate on issues behind the move by the opposition.

    Parliament is nearly evenly split among Ms Heine's group and opponents in the 33-seat chamber.

    Looming in the background - but not mentioned on Monday by Senator Casten Nemra among the five concerns motivating the opposition to action - is a push since early this year by local authorities of Rongelap Atoll to create a special investor haven.

    Draft legislation proposed recently was rejected by the Heine administration for violating multiple constitutional provisions, laws and international financial transparency agreements between the Marshall Islands and countries around the world.

    This plan to establish an investor haven by establishing a Rongelap Atoll Special Administrative Region was proposed by outside promoters and is backed by senators supporting the no confidence move against Ms Heine.

    At Monday's session of parliament, Mr Nemra read a list of criticisms of the Heine administration. Nemra, now in his first term in office, was briefly president in early 2016 before he was unseated by Ms Heine in a no confidence vote three weeks after his election in January that year.

    Mr Nemra said the Heine administration's plan to establish a digital currency as legal tender had tainted the country's reputation and generated criticism from major financial organizations, including the International Monetary Fund and the US Treasury Department.

    He also criticized Heine's administration for what he described as unequal government service to outer islanders and removal of postal ballot voting for Marshall Islanders living outside the country.

    The Heine administration's engagement with donors, however, has caused grant funding to the Marshall Islands to skyrocket over the past two years. The World Bank alone now has over 10 projects in progress or in the pipeline worth over $100 million.

    She has also been a key player globally on climate action and is scheduled to host a "virtual summit" of the Climate Vulnerable Forum on November 22 - an event put in doubt by the scheduled November 12 vote of no confidence.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/370290/marshalls-president-heine-faces-no-confidence-challenge
  • The hilda administration also refused to allow the FBI to take over the investigations of the missing RMI trust funds. From a confidence source i have in the RMI, the Hilda administration refused the FBI because it will reveal that David Paul and Brenson Wase are connected to the missing millions from thr trust fund of RMI. Both David Paul and Brenson Wase are cabinet memebers in Hildas administration.

    David is been known as a crook for years. He has been accused of diverting government $$$ to build his 3 story home in Ebeye.

  • i read somewhere that her administration refused FBI assistance to look into who authorized transfer of money from the rmi trust fund. Why did she and her ministers refuse it?
  • Its because 2 according to my sources 2 of her cabinet member are involved or were complicit in the act. To this day not a single report or investigation or any information of the deft has been offered to the marshallese public or to nitijela from from her administration.
  • The speaker of the house or nitijela has jumped ship to the opposition and left her party and is now from the looks of it is supporting the VONC.

    Now the RMI journal along with the Marshallese NGO page Kewan Jela as gone full attack mode on the opposition party. Its not unexpected since the MIJ and KJ are two outlets in the Marshalls that support this administration and went on full support mode and tried selling the SOV venture to public.
  • Reaper, are you by any chance a Mormon? You exhibit all the qualities of a Mormon.
  • Reaper, thanks for the update and details regarding the VONC. Sorry to hear about it but I guess that's politics. My impression is that President Heine is smart as well as intellectual; and has a good heart; and is capable of bringing quality discussions to the table when dealing with outsiders. Unfortunately, it looks like some members of the cabinet may have done somethings that have brought questions to her administration. Given the razor thin majority in Nitijela, the result could go one way or another. Appreciate any update from RMI regarding this or related interesting developments.
  • edited November 7
    @coconut, no im a Jewish propagandist or did you forget. lol

    @marc, the SOV deal, refusing FBI HELP, Stopping Marshallese Citizens abroad from voting, putting islands of its cabinet memebers in priority ship visits and serive, are amongst the reason behind the VONC AGAINST her administration.

    Casten Nemra used the word "rujruj-rõjak" in his closing statement in his speech on the reason behind the VONC. Its a ancient language in the "Ro jen-wa" custom or ways of the seas, ways of the navigators of old. He said "aien rujruj-rõjak". It means when a canoe sails and is hit by a typhoon the people on the canoe must wake up and break the rõjak or the pieces of woods that hold the canoe sail in order to stop the canoe and people on it from being destroyed by storm or typhoon.

    It means the rõjak, which represent the hilda adminstration is leading the canoe (RMI) towards a storm and that the people on the canoe must destroy the canoes sail to save themselves.

  • The canoe's analogy sounds quite descriptive. The problem with the parliamentary system is that often some members of the coalition have their own agenda--political or personal--that eventually manifest themselves in different ways and cause the coalition to fracture. Italy was historically known for changing several governments in a year. Same for other countries using the parliamentary system.

    Foolhardy has been used but I attribute it to some of coalition members--who were looking more for their agenda rather than the interest of the whole coalition and the country. When sailing in an open sea, all those on the canoe must be prepared to work together toward one direction as set by the navigator. Good luck to all: to the country; to the parliamentary system the RMI Framers had chosen to experiment with; to both political parties as they maneuver to find the best solution for the future.
  • Marshall Islands' president accuses Chinese interests of backing opponents

    Eleanor Ainge Roy, Thu 8 Nov 2018

    The Marshall Islands’ president, Hilda Heine, says accusations that she is destroying the country’s financial reputation by adopting a cryptocurrency are “baseless” and her opponents are being unduly influenced by pressure from China.

    Heine’s opponents said she had bought the country’s financial reputation into disrepute by pushing ahead with the adoption of the cryptocurrency Sovereign as the country’s second legal tender, despite strident warnings from the International Monetary Fund to drop the “risky” plan.

    Heine initially refused to comment on the threat to her leadership but on Friday said the accusations against her were “baseless” and claimed her opponents were working on China’s behalf to secure a remote Marshall Islands atoll and turn it into a “country within our own country”.

    Heine told Radio New Zealand Pacific that a number of senators who had moved against her had connections with a Chinese businessman who was trying to secure Rongelap atoll as a business haven for foreign investors.

    Heine’s government has rejected the proposal for Rongelap, saying her country needed to retain its independence at a time of growing Chinese influence in the Pacific Islands, and the plan could spawn money laundering schemes.

    “We have to be cautious knowing what the geopolitical situation is in the Pacific region,” Heine told RNZ Pacific.

    “I think it’s important for the government to do its own due diligence and make sure that the sovereignty of the Pacific is secure,” she said.

    “We are a small country and it is easy for foreign elements to influence individual people, and so I think that the more education and information that we share with the public the better so we can see initiatives for what they are.”

    Despite the leadership threat Heine said she was felt confident of surviving the coming vote.

    “If you were to take a poll today, my guess is that over 60% of the Marshallese [parliament] would come out against the vote of no confidence, because they know it is baseless.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/09/marshall-islands-president-accuses-chinese-interests-of-backing-opponents


  • That's what she claims but the people behind the Chinese deal are members of her own cabinet. She list 1 reason while her opposition listed 5 against her. This 12 of November the vote will take place. The opposition have the support of the marshallese abroad. Her opposition claims that her claims against the VONC and reason behind it have no facts since she and her adminstration signed a no visa entry treaty with the chinese a couple of months ago. And the SOV or crypto deal which is being spearheaded by a foreign team.

    Its getting hectic.
  • Reaper are you a Marshallese or mormon missionary posing as one?
  • Reaper, what are Mr. Nemra's qualifications that make him stand out among the many veterans in Nitijela. I am assuming that he's been in the government for many years--thus, experienced in government's ways. Besides that, why does he have such a strong support which makes him a presidential candidate, and not the other members of the opposition? Just curious.
  • edited November 11
    Nemra served as the Budget Director for Office of International Development Assistance from 2001 to 2004, then served as Assistant Secretary for the Ministry of Finance from 2004 to 2007. Nemra was next appointed the Chief Secretary of the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 2008 until 2015. I don't think this VONC will install a President since election is a few weeks away in the RMI. The main reason is to bring the nation attention to the moves made by the Hilda administration namely the missing funds unders its watch, its failure to find the persons responsible, failure to report on the situation when it happen and stopping the FBI from leading the investigations and the infringing of the RMI constitution through stopping RMI citizen abroad from voting, and prioritizing ships delivery to islands of its cabinet members and misappropriation if government assests. And most importantly the failure of the SOV to deliver its promise.

    He has support because of the voting thing and SOV issue and he is one of the young bloods in the government and represent change. He was the President for 17 days before Hilda and her party VONC-ed him for no reason other than they had the majority to vonc him.
  • The VONC failed today by one vote and Hilda Heine remains the RMI President. The vote was 16 aet, 16 jab.
  • 16-16 the vonc vote was evenly split amongst the 2 parties. 2 members of the ruling party defected to the other side. 4 years ago the ruling party had 18 members now is down to 16. It was dense, members of the ruling party were nervous. Now the lines have been drawn. Those who were independent in the parliament have picked sides. The VONC is not over. I don't think this is the last of the VONC. It took 2 VONC motion to oust Litakwa a couple of years ago. If Hildas side have majority this coming election the other side is going to bring it up again like they did to former president Litakwa toeing.

  • One member of the opposition party was missing, He was Litakwa Tomeing. He is in the US seeking medical attention and is in intensive care. And if he was present the VONC would have passed. I was wrong the nitijela is not split evenly but now the opposition have now got the majority in the nitijela. 33 members of nitijela, 17 to the opposition 16 to present cabinet. If Litakwa was present he would have voted in favor of VONC. Now the Hilda administration have united long time rivals Kessai Note and Mike Kabua under one party. Years ago Kessai was the staunchest senator against the conservatives party but now he has joined them. The Party of Kabua have regain the majority in parliament as of today.

    What's interesting is that the conservative party of Kabua fighting for the people outside the Marshalls while the liberals minded Hilda party isn't. This is mind boggling.
  • Reaper, thanks for the updates. Question: did you say that there will be a national election in the coming weeks or did I read you wrong? If none, when is the next election so people will be looking at individual candidates--those in the coalition and those in opposition? Just curious.
  • The RMI national election is not. "a few weeks away." It is a year away...November 2019. The last general election was in 2015.
  • edited November 13
    Sorry there mark, i was still caught up in the US election. Yup FactsMatters is right the election are 13 months away. But campaigning have already started for 2019. There 3 parties or groups in the RMI parliament, the Kabua Party, The United Democrats, and the independents or not affiliated. As of the VONC the independents have picked sides with most going to the opposition party against Hildas cabinet, The opposition now comprises of United Democratic party (Kessai Note) and The Kabua Party (Mike Kabua-Christopher Loeak-Litokwa Tomeign) and some of the independents in the nitijela. From the looks of it the opposition now have the majority. They will wait for Litokwa to recover and return from the US mainland and when he does they will reintroduce the Vote of No confidence. With Litakwa back they will have 17 majority.
  • Going into the election the opposition have the upper hand. The missing money from the RMI trust funds and SOV not bearing fruits will the 2 factors that will play against Hildas group.

  • Marshall Islands leader survives no-confidence motion, says challengers were backed by ‘Chinese interests’

    Hilda Heine said the challenge was prompted by her government’s refusal to support plans for a tax haven on a key atoll within the islands, which was proposed by a Chinese businessman

    Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine narrowly survived a vote of no confidence Monday, seeing off a challenge she alleges was orchestrated by Chinese-backed business interests intent on undermining the Pacific nation’s sovereignty.

    The vote to topple Heine, the first and only elected female leader of a Pacific island nation, split parliament 16-16, one short of the 17 her opponents required.

    In front of a packed public gallery, Heine and her allies spent 45 minutes defending the government’s record, including claims from the opposition it had sullied the country’s international reputation and eroded voting rights.

    Once the vote was confirmed, Speaker Kenneth Kedi – who had backed the no-confidence move – congratulated Heine and declared parliament was in recess.

    Heine said in the days leading up to the vote that the opposition’s stated reasons for trying to unseat her were a “smokescreen” to cover their real motives.

    She said the no-confidence motion was actually prompted by her government’s refusal to back plans for an independently administered tax haven on an atoll within the Marshalls.

    The proposed Rongelap Atoll Special Administrative Region (RASAR) is the brainchild of Cary Yan, a Chinese businessman and Marshall Islands citizen who launched the concept in Hong Kong earlier this year.

    The idea is that the territory would be self governing and completely tax free, making it an attractive option for hi-tech firms.

    Heine’s government has rejected the proposal over concerns it could be vulnerable to money laundering and passport-for-sale scams.

    She suggested last week that the RASAR could be a Trojan horse for China to take over part of her country.

    The no-confidence vote was “an effort by certain foreign interests to take control of one of our atolls and turn it into a country within our own country,” she told Radio New Zealand.

    Beijing has used billions of dollars in investment to court influence with tiny island nations across the Pacific Ocean, a region considered strategically important as a maritime gateway to Asia.

    Heine said she was determined to protect her country’s sovereignty.

    “We have to be cautious knowing what the geo-political situation is in the Pacific region,” she said.

    “I think it’s important for the government to do its own due diligence and ensure that the sovereignty of the country is secure.”

    This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Marshall Islands leader wins no-confidence vote

    PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 November, 2018
  • Reaper youre full of crap!!
  • This is what the Hilda claimed was the reason for the VONC. Its a smokescreen. To divert attention away from the missing money from the RMI trust funds and the failure of the digital currency moved it made to bare fruits.

    357 million hasn't been delivered, there is no answer to who stole the money from the trust funds, no investigation as to who or what stole the money, and they tried to hide the missing funds from the Nitijela and the marshallese people. And it didn't explained why the atolls for the cabinet members receive more plane delivery and ship delivery than the other islands.

    This is not about sovereignty or chinese businesses its about missing moneys from the trust funds and failure of the SOV to deliver.
  • There is no money missing from the RMI trust fund. The bank took full responsibility and restored every missing dollar to the RMI trust fund account more than a year ago.


    https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/funds-illegally-withdrawn-rmi-trust-fund-fully-restored/
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