MARSHALLS SENATOR WANTS PAYOFF PROBE

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MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Yokwe Online, May 4) - "The Marshallese people deserve to know the truth," said Marshall Islands long-time legislator Justin deBrum, Senator from Kwajalein Atoll.

Recent reports that ruling United Democratic Party's (UDP) elected officials accepted of payments from China (PRC) to encourage a return to diplomatic ties, have rocked the nation, which just this week hosted President Chen Shui-bian, the President of its current diplomatic ally Republic of Taiwan (ROC).

In a letter to President Kessai Note and Nitijela (RMI Parliament) Speaker Litokwa Tomeing, deBrum requests the appointment of a special committee to investigate the issue to the fullest. He said that a listing of those who took money must be made public as soon as possible.

"My colleagues in the opposition are ready to move on a vote of no confidence," said deBrum, a leading member of the Aelon Kein Ar (AKA) party. "The UDP came to power because they promised the people that they would do away with waste, abuse and corruption. It seems that that is not the case today."

Alleged payments of US$6,000 and US$10,000 to senators and Cabinet ministers began last December, according to a published report in Majuro two weeks ago.

The RMI President's Office and the United Democratic Party have yet to issue any official responses to the serious accusations.

"So to come clean, on account of transparency, accountability and good governance, the government should come out with the truth. There is no other way," said Senator deBrum in a statement to Yokwe Online on May 3. "Should this not materialize, then a vote of no confidence will follow," he said.

May 5, 2005

Yokwe Online: www.yokwe.net

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