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Nitijela (Parliament)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Nitijela / Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 16 November 2015
Purpose of elections The 2015 elections saw half of the members of the government and many senior figures of the ruling Aelon Kein Ad party ("Our Island" - AKA) lose their parliamentary seats. Although candidates are officially non-partisan and their party affiliation may change after the elections, many of them belong either to the AKA or Kien Eo Am ("Your Government" - KEA). The KEA was established in 2011 by former AKA members, supporting the then President Jurelang Zedkai who passed away in October 2015. Following the 2015 elections, the KEA, now led by Mr. Alvin Jacklick, reportedly controlled 23 seats in the 33-member Parliament.

The high turnover in 2015 resulted in the election of younger candidates. Mr. Sherwood Tibon (KEA) scored the highest number of votes in the capital Majuro, campaigning as the "voice of youth". A record three women were elected in 2015, up from one in previous legislatures.

Prior to the first session, the KEA and newly-elected independent members as well as some former AKA members formed the "Solid 8" coalition.

On 4 January 2016, the newly-elected parliament held its first session and elected Mr. Kenneth Kedi (Solid 8) as its new Speaker. A first-time member, Mr. Casten Nemra (AKA), was elected as the country's President by a one-vote margin against the former Speaker Alvin Jacklick (Solid 8).

On 25 January, however, parliament adopted a vote of no-confidence against the new President, giving him the shortest term in office in the country's history. On 27 January, Ms. Hilda C. Heine (Solid 8) was elected as the new President, thereby becoming the first woman to assume the post.
Date of previous elections: 21 November 2011

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 30 November 2015

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: 18 November 2019

Number of seats at stake: 33 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 98 (93 men, 5 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 0.5%

Number of parties contesting the election: 2*
*Candidates are officially non-partisan and their party affiliation may change after the elections.

Number of parties winning seats: 2

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 1*
*"Solid 8" coalition

Names of parties in government: "Solid 8" coalition, comprising the Kien Eo Am ("Your Government" - KEA), independent members and some former members of the Aelon Kein Ad ("Our Island" - AKA)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 4 January 2016*
*The first Monday in January.

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Kenneth Kedi (Solid 8)
Voter turnout
Distribution of votes
Distribution of seats
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: Parliament (04.01.2016, 27.01.2016, 30.01.2016, 02.02.2016)

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