The Marshall Islands parliament has elected a new president, Dr Hilda Heine, the first female leader of any independent Pacific island nation. Her election follows a period of unprecedented politicking which culminated on Tuesday in a no-confidence motion which ousted 44-year-old Casten Nemra just one week after he was inaugurated.
A former education minister, Dr Heine was the sole presidential candidate when the ballot was held at the Marshall Islands parliament — the Nitijela — early on Wednesday. The speaker told members that if they did not want to vote for Dr Heine they should leave their ballot blank. She won 24 of the 30 votes cast, with six parliamentarians abstaining and three absent from the 33-seat Nitijela. Read more.