Jurelang Zedkaia

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Jurelang Zedkaia
Jurelang Zedkaia.gif
5th President of the Marshall Islands
In office
2 November 2009 10 January 2012
Preceded by Ruben Zackhras (Acting)
Succeeded by Christopher Loeak
Personal details
Born(1950-07-13)13 July 1950
Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
Died 7 October 2015(2015-10-07) (aged 65)
Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
Political party Kien Eo Am
Spouse(s) Hannah Jurelang Zedkaia

Jurelang Zedkaia (13 July 1950 – 7 October 2015) was a Marshallese politician and Iroijlaplap. He served as the President of the Marshall Islands from 2009 to 2012. He was elected as the country's 5th head of state on October 26, 2009, following the ouster of his predecessor, Litokwa Tomeing, in the country's first successful vote of no confidence. [1]

Marshall Islands country in Oceania

The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is an island country and a United States associated state near the equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country's population of 53,158 people is spread out over 29 coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets.

Iroijlaplap are the traditional paramount chiefs in the Marshall Islands. Ordinary chiefs bear the title of Iroij ; -ļapļap is a superlative suffix.

President of the Marshall Islands head of government and head of state of the Marshall Islands

The President of the Marshall Islands is the head of government and head of state of the Marshall Islands. The president is elected by the Nitijeļā (Legislature) from among its members. Presidents pick cabinet members from the Nitijeļā.

Contents

Biography

Zedkaia was the Iroijlaplap , or traditional paramount chief, of Majuro Atoll, which is the location of the country's capital. [1] Before becoming president in 2009, Zedkaia was a five-term elected Senator in the Nitijela, or legislature. [1] He became vice speaker of the Nitijela, before becoming the Speaker of the legislature in January 2008. [1]

A paramount chief is the English-language designation for the highest-level political leader in a regional or local polity or country administered politically with a chief-based system. This term is used occasionally in anthropological and archaeological theory to refer to the rulers of multiple chiefdoms or the rulers of exceptionally powerful chiefdoms that have subordinated others. Paramount chiefs were identified by English-speakers as existing in Native American confederacies and regional chiefdoms, such as the Powhatan Confederacy and Piscataway Native Americans encountered by English colonists in the Chesapeake Bay area of North America.

Speaker (politics) presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body

The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body, is its presiding officer, or the chair. The title was first used in 1377 in England.

[2] Zedkaia worked in pharmacy for 15 years and 6 years in the Majuro Atoll Local Government. Zedikaia entered the Ntijela in 1981 as representative and senator of Majuro Attol, a post he has served in the duration of his time in the Nitijela.

Zedkaia's swearing in as President on Nov. 2, 2009. Swearing in of President Jurelang Zedkaia.gif
Zedkaia's swearing in as President on Nov. 2, 2009.

President of the Marshall Islands

Zedkaia's predecessor, Litokwa Tomeing was defeated in a vote of no confidence on October 21, 2009, in a motion led by former president Kessai Note. [1] The ouster of President Tomeing marked the first successful vote of no confidence in Marshallese history. [3]

Litokwa Tomeing Former President of the Marshall Islands

Iroij Litokwa Tomeing was the President of the Marshall Islands from January 2008 until October 2009.

Kessai Note former President of the Marshall Islands

Kessai Hesa Note, was President of the Marshall Islands from 2000 to 2008.

A presidential election, whose outcome is determined by the 33-member Nitijela, took place on October 26, 2009. Speaker Zedkaia and former President Kessai Note were the only candidates for the presidency. [1] Zedkaia was elected president on October 26, 2009, defeating Note in by 17-15, giving Zedkaia the one-vote minimum majority needed to win. [1] [4] He was sworn into office on November 2, 2009. [5]

Zedkaia nominated Alvin Jacklick as the new Speaker, who was confirmed without opposition.

Alvin Jacklick politician

Alvin Jacklick is a Marshallese politician and government minister. In the late 1980s he was elected mayor of Ebeye, at a time when he was described as a "young radical". He was involved in the projects of the Kwajalein Atoll Development Corporation. Jacklick was the Speaker of Nitijela, the Marshallese Parliament, from 2010 to 2011.

Zedkaia's mother, Leroij Atama Zedkaia, the paramount chief of Majuro Atoll, died on November 19, 2010, at the age of 79. [6] Zedkaia had previously carried out chiefly duties on behalf of his mother during her lifetime. [3] President Zedkaia assumed the chiefly titles for all of the lands on Majuro that had been previously governed by Leroij Atama following her death. [3] He now assumed all chiefly duties in his own name. [3] The state funeral for his mother was the largest to take place in the Marshall Islands since the death of President Amata Kabua in 1996. [7] Zedkaia died in Majuro on 7 October 2015, aged 65. [8]

President Zedkaia (middle), flanked by Speaker Alvin Jacklick (L) and U.S. ambassador Martha Campbell. Speaker Jacklick, President Jurelang Zedkaia, Ambassador Martha Campbell.JPEG
President Zedkaia (middle), flanked by Speaker Alvin Jacklick (L) and U.S. ambassador Martha Campbell.

Related Research Articles

Ailinglaplap Atoll atoll

Ailinglaplap or Ailinglapalap is a coral atoll of 56 islands in the Pacific Ocean, and forms a legislative district of the Ralik Chain in the Marshall Islands. It is located 152 kilometres (94 mi) northwest of Jaluit Atoll. Its total land area is only 14.7 square kilometres (5.7 sq mi), but it encloses a lagoon of 750 square kilometres (290 sq mi). The economy of the atoll is dominated by coconut plantations. The population of the atoll was 1,729 in 2011. Jabat Island is located off the coast of Ailinglaplap Atoll. The former president of the Marshall Islands, Kessai Note, was born on Jeh Island, Ailinglaplap Atoll.

Amata Kabua former President of the Marshall Islands

Amata Kabua was the first president of the Marshall Islands from 1979 to 1996.

Elections in the Marshall Islands

Elections in Marshall Islands gives information on election and election results in Marshall Islands.

Remios Hermios is one of two iroijlaplap of the Ratak Chain in the Marshall Islands. His traditional domain includes the atolls of Aur, Maloelap, Erikub, Wotje, Likiep, Ailuk, Utirik and Taongi; he and his predecessors have also laid claim to U.S.-administered Wake Island. The other paramount chief in the chain is incumbent president, Jurelang Zedkaia, whose domain covers Majuro, Arno and Mili atolls.

Legislature of the Marshall Islands

The Legislature of the Marshall Islands has 33 members, elected for a four-year term in single-seat and five multi-seat constituencies. The last election was November 21, 2011. Elections in the Marshall Islands are officially nonpartisan, but most members of the Nitijeļā are affiliated with one of the four active political parties in the Marshall Islands: Aelon Kein Ad (AKA), Kien Eo Am (KEA), United People's Party (UPP), and United Democratic Party (UDP).

Government of the Marshall Islands

The government of the Marshall Islands operates under a mixed parliamentary-presidential system as set forth in its Constitution. Elections are held every four years in universal suffrage, with each of the twenty-four constituencies electing one or more representatives (senators) to the lower house of RMI’s unicameral legislature, the Nitijela. The President, who is head of state as well as head of government, is elected by the 33 senators of the Nitijela. Four of the five Marshallese presidents who have been elected since the Constitution was adopted in 1979 have been traditional paramount chiefs.

2008 Marshallese presidential election

An indirect presidential election was held in the Marshall Islands on 7 January 2008. The parliament elected in November 2007 elected a new president after it formally convened. The opposition coalition elected a new president, Litokwa Tomeing, with a vote of 18 to 15 in favour, beating the incumbent president Kessai Note. A new Speaker from the opposition, Senator Jurelang Zedkaia, was also elected, defeating Senator Alvin Jacklick in another 18-15 vote. Senator Alik Alik from the United Democratic Party was elected as Vice-Speaker with 17 votes against 16 for Kaibuke Kabua.

Ruben R. Zackhras is a Marshallese politician and member of the United Democratic Party, was acting President of the Marshall Islands from 21 October 2009 to 26 October 2009. He previously served as Finance Minister from 1989 to 1997. Zackras, Graduated from the University of Guam in 1971 holding a BA in Public Administration, he has served in Marshallese Politics for 34 years and in the Nitijela since 1979, currently serving as a representative of Ailinglaplap Atoll since 2007. His initial political career was combined with his role as a teacher until his appointment as Minister of Transportation and Communication in 1979. From 1982 Zackhras was appointed as minister of Transportation and Communication, Interior and Outer Island Affairs, Justice and Health & Environment, until his appointment in 1989 as Minister of Finance. In the year of 2000, Zackhras was elected as Deputy speaker of the Nitijela serving until 2007.

2009 Marshallese presidential election

An indirect presidential election was held in the Marshall Islands on 26 October 2009 following the ousting of incumbent President Litokwa Tomeing in the nation's first successful vote of no confidence on 21 October 2009. Tomeing had been temporarily replaced by Ruben Zackhras as acting president.

Leroij Atama Zedkaia was the Marshallese paramount chief, or Leroijlaplap, of Majuro. Leroij Zedkaia spearheaded the movement to break the Marshall Islands away from the rest of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and form the independent Republic of the Marshall Islands. She was also the mother of Jurelang Zedkaia, who has served as the President of the Marshall Islands from 2009 to 2012. Leroij is a title by a female paramount chief, or Leroijlaplap, in the Marshall Islands.

Anjua Loeak was one of the current iroijlaplap of Ailinglaplap, and one of four paramount chiefs in the Ralik Chain. Loeak's domain lies in the Ralik Chain and is shared with the iroijlaplap of Kwajalein, currently Imata Kabua. After a controversial court case utilizing the westernized American court system, Loeak rose to legitimacy after defeating his relative Melon Loeak who stood in line according to the natural line of patrilineal succession and existing records. In the most controversial sense of this case, Iroijlaplap Kabua Kabua testified on Anjua's behalf stating that Marshallese customs only allowed blue blooded royals being the blood son of the male chief to inherit the Iroijlaplap title despite there being an existing precedent with the Loeak's exercising such authority despite not being direct patrilineal descendants. The court case transcripts, particularly the summary judgment of this case, reveal that it was Kabua Kabua's testimony that won the case on behalf of Iroijlaplap Anjua Loeak who was the son ofiroojlaplap Albert Loeak. In the most surprising defeat, Melon Loeak, who was deemed the rightful heir by Iroijlaplap Lejolan Kabua, lost his legitimacy due to the prevailing reasoning of the American Trust Territory court system built on the most convincing arguments that neglected mentioning of sensitive issues prevalent in Marshallese customs. The court transcript revealed that blood was the main criteria despite there being existing evidence from the landowners (Alaps) of Kabinmeto where Albert Loeak grew up revealing that this was literally the pot calling the kettle black as Albert Loeak himself was not the biological son of Iroijlaplap Lobokij Loeak. This showcased a clear degree of racism even in Marshallese society as the reigns of money have taken over the conscience of the Marshallese people particularly in Kwajlein and in Majuro despite the Marshallese Constitution under the Equal Protection Clause, specifically Section 12.2 stating otherwise. This is especially true considering the Compact of Free Association between the United States and Marshall Islands as its preamble was built on the foundation of Human Rights.

Christopher Loeak president of the Marshall Islands

Christopher Jorebon Loeak is a Marshallese politician who was the President of the Marshall Islands from 2012 to 2016. He was elected by parliament as President in January 2012, following the 2011 general election.

2012 Marshallese presidential election

An indirect presidential election was held in the Marshall Islands on 3 January 2012 following the 2011 general election.

Hilda Heine Marshallese politician

Hilda Cathy Heine is a Marshallese educator and politician, currently serving as the eighth President of the Marshall Islands. Prior to assuming office, she served as the Minister of Education. She was the first individual in the Marshall Islands to earn a doctorate degree, and the founder of the women's rights group Women United Together Marshall Islands (WUTMI).

Casten Nemra Marshallese politician

Casten Ned Nemra is a Marshallese politician who was President of the Marshall Islands for 17 days in January 2016. He was elected by the Nitijeļā (Parliament) as President in January 2016, following the 2015 general election, narrowly defeating Senator Alvin Jacklick, a seven-term member of Parliament, by a 17–16 vote. He was the youngest person to hold the job and the second commoner. He was ousted by a vote of no confidence after just two weeks in office by the opposition for jumping ship and joining Iroij Mike Kabua's Aelon Kein Ad party along with Senators Dennis Momotaro and Daisy-Alik Momotaro.

Amenta Matthew is a Marshallese politician. She has been a member of the Legislature of the Marshall Islands since 2015, representing the electorate of Utrik. She has been the Minister of Internal Affairs in the government of Hilda Heine since February 2016. She previously represented the same electorate from 2007 to 2011, and was Minister of Health under Presidents Litokwa Tomeing and Jurelang Zedkaia from 2008 to 2011. She is the second woman in the Marshall Islands to serve as a government minister.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "The Marshall Islands parliament has elected the Speaker, Jurelang Zedkaia, as its fifth President". RNZI . Islands Business. 2009-10-26. Archived from the original on 2012-02-23. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  2. "The President". Office of the President Republic of the Marshall Islands. Archived from the original on 1 May 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Johnson, Giff (2010-11-25). "Huge funeral recognizes late Majuro chief". Marianas Variety News & Views . Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  4. "Marshall Island parliament elects new President". Radio New Zealand International . 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  5. "The Marshall Islands Inaugurates a New President". Office of Insular Affairs . 2010-11-03. Archived from the original on 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  6. "Marshalls Paramount Chief played important role in country's independence". Radio New Zealand International . 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  7. "Thousands mourn Marshalls chief's death". Radio New Zealand International . 2010-11-24. Retrieved 2010-11-28.
  8. "Month of mourning for former Marshall Islands President". Radio New Zealand International. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2015.
Political offices
Preceded by
Ruben Zackhras
Acting
President of the Marshall Islands
2009–2012
Succeeded by
Christopher Loeak