Prominent Marshall Islands foreign minister loses seat

3:56 pm on 7 December 2015

The prominent foreign minister of the Marshall Islands, Tony de Brum, is among several ministers to have lost their seats in the country's elections.

The Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum.

The Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Tony de Brum. Photo: RNZI / supplied Giff Johnson

The election results, published on Friday, have caused a big upset for the government of president Christopher Loeak, with half his cabinet voted out of office.

The speaker, vice-speaker, and other government-aligned incumbents have also lost their seats.

Mr de Brum is one of the world's most vocal advocates for global action to mitigate against climate change, conveying the plight of the low-lying Marshall Islands around the world.

He is currently at the international climate negotiations in Paris and was last week featured on the front page of The New York Times.

Our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says Mr de Brum's advocacy abroad may have contributed to his downfall at home.

"Ebeye, which is a very overcrowded, challenging community hasn't seen much change overall in many, many years. The foreign minister is doing what a foreign minister does. You know, he goes overseas and beats the drum on climate change, but I think what Ebeye and Kwajalein voters are saying is that they want some action on the local front."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs