14 Feb 2008

Forum welcomes inquiry into the Marshall Islands election fiasco

4:35 pm on 14 February 2008

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is welcoming the Commission of Inquiry into the Marshall Islands' national election.

The Forum sent a team of six to observe the November election and their report will be released within the next few days.

The release is two months late as one team member returned to the Marshall Islands in January due to ongoing problems associated with the election.

The Forum's legal advisor, Shennia Spillane, says their report covers a whole gamut of issues ranging from the campaign through to the voting and counting.

Ms Spillane says she has spoken with the new government about the commission of inquiry and believes that the recommendations will mirror much of what is contained in the Forum's report.

"This is very much intended not to be an exercise about allocating blame but really to look at why these problems occur and to make sure that future elections in RMI are as good as they can be. Well that's absolutely what our observer mission is on about too and in that sense we'd hope that our report and its recommendations might provide a resource to that inquiry in order to make some positive recommendations and changes for the future."

Shennia Spillane of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.