13 Mar 2014

Marshalls opposition says government cagey over UN nomination

6:52 am on 13 March 2014

The opposition in the Marshall Islands believes the government is hiding something over its nomination to UNESCO of a controversial Lebanese official and that's why it's submitted a motion of no-confidence.

In December the government nominated Jamil el-Sayed to be the country's UNESCO representative but withdrew it when a French newspaper broke a story last month that el-Sayed had alleged ties to Hezbollah.

The opposition party chairman, Senator Alvin Jacklick, says the nomination also violated the constitution which says any ambassador representing the country must be a Marshallese citizen.

Mr Jacklick says the government has failed to explain why it made the appointment before doing any background checks.

"When we ask questions they did not answer the questions, they are hiding something that we don't know. They appointed that individual before a check up was made to make sure whether he was qualified or not, that's unusual."

Alvin Jacklick says while they might not have the numbers to win the vote of no confidence it's important they let other countries know they don't approve of the government's actions.

The vote will be held in a few days.