Month of mourning for former Marshall Islands President

4:28 pm on 12 October 2015

The Marshall Islands has declared a month of mourning in honour of the former President and paramount chief Jurelang Zedkaia, who died last week.

Mr Zedkaia died in Majuro on Wednesday night from a suspected heart attack, at the age of 65.

In 2009, he was elected President, ousting Litokwa Tomeing following a vote of no-confidence.

Mr Zedkaia had 24 years in Parliament and was never identified with a particular political party.

After the successful vote of no confidence against Mr Tomeing in 2009, he was courted by both government party and opposition leaders, eventually joining the opposition that propelled him to a two-year stint as president.

A state funeral will be held early this week at parliament, followed by several days of funeral activities at the main Assembly of God church.

Mr Zedkaia will be buried in a cemetery for traditional leaders in a rural section of Majuro.

Former Marshall Islands President Jurelang Zedkaia who died in October 2015

Former Marshall Islands President Jurelang Zedkaia Photo: RNZI/Giff Johnson