News Release

Republic of the Marshall Islands Office of the President Majuro, Marshall Islands December 4, 2007

As of Monday December 3, 2007, the United Democratic Party (UDP) has more than the required numbers to return President Kessai H. Note to another term as President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and to form the new government when the Nitijela (Parliament) returns on January 7, 2008.

The formation of the government under the leadership of President Note and the UDP will ensure the continuation of the many reforms, projects and development initiatives implemented since 2000.

Responding to a call for a switch in diplomatic recognition by the Aelon Kein Ad party, UDP Chairman and Vice-Speaker Ruben R. Zackhras said that the government to be formed by the UDP will remain firm and committed to the friendly and strong relations that have flourished over the nine years between the RMI and Taiwan.

"It is a relationship that has been founded on the common beliefs in democratic values, mutual trust and mutual benefits," said Chairman Zackhras. "To switch now or in the future would have serious negative impacts on the nation’s economy and the national budget. It is a recipe for disaster."

Zackhras strongly stated that no government officials aligned with the AKA party will be dismissed from their jobs in the government. "In our belief in democracy and the freedom to choose, government employees will not be affected when the government returns in January."

Furthermore, as strongly opposed by the public several years ago, Chairman Zackhras said that the UDP is committed to keep gambling in the Republic off the discussion table. "UDP is committed to keeping the Marshall Islands free of gambling."

"The UDP is further committed to continue to respect the special and unique relationship between the peoples of the RMI and the United States as prescribed under the Compact of Free Association, as Amended which was overwhelmingly supported by the people in 2003," Zackhras said. "And the UDP further reaffirms its commitment to prohibit the illegal sales of passports that has undermined our good standing in the international community."

Zackhras asked for the support of the Marshallese people to continue with democracy and the rule of law and to build on the people’s mandate set forth in Vision 2018 to improve the lives of all in the Republic.

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