20 Nov 2003

Marshall Islands vote counting continues

4:44 pm on 20 November 2003

Thousands of off-island postal absentee votes cast in the Marshall Islands election are still being counted ahead of December 1st, the 14 day arrival deadline allowed by Marshall Islands electoral law.

The ruling United Democratic Party of President Kessai Note seems likely to take four of the five seats being contested in the capital, Majuro.

However, at Kwajalein, which hosts the US missile testing range, unofficial results show the opposition well on the way to controlling all three seats with six-term incumbent and UDP Senator Ataji Balos a distant fifth in the three seat race.

President Note is certain to return to parliament standing unopposed in his home electorate of Jabot.

Six-term incumbent and Vice Speaker Reuben Zackhras leads the race for one of two seats in Ailinglaplap but the opposition leader, Christopher Loeak, is now in third place behind UDP newcomer, Kazuo Katjang.