1998, joined forces with opposition leaders to run on a platform of anticorruption, transparency, and accountability. In nearly every way this election broke new ground. Unlike elections of the past, votes were tallied in public and at record speed, and the nation's radio station broadcast results throughout the night. Individuals used the Internet to spread the news instantly across the ocean, on a near hourly basis. Winning a majority of seats, even those of four of six longterm cabinet ministers, the United Democratic Party gained control of the Nitijela (parliament). Most surprising were the defeats of Ministers Tony deBrum (Finance), and Phillip Muller (Foreign Affairs and Trade), both four-term officials who in previous elections garnered top numbers of Majuro votes. As the dominant leaders of the nation, particularly since Amata Kabua's death in 1996, their defeat points to the extreme dissatisfaction of Majuro voters, who elected opposition leaders in record numbers, most notably Wilfred Kendall and Witten Philippo. In other seats, even first-time politicians were elected over incumbents, including some of traditional iroij (chief) status. John Silk beat Iroij Mamoru Kabua (Ebon Atoll), Abacca Anjain-Maddison won against Minister Johnsay Riklon (Rongelap), and Mike Konelios defeated Lomes McKay (Maloelap).
The Contemporary Pacific – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 1, 2001