Marshall Islands - Political parties
There is no tradition of organized political parties in the Marshall Islands; what has existed more closely resembles factions or interest groups because they do not have party platforms, headquarters, or party structures. However, two major groupings have competed in legislative balloting in recent years. The Kabua Party of former President Amata Kabua was in ascendance from 1979 to 1999. Kabua was re-elected to a fifth term in 1995. When President Kabua died on 12 December 1996, the government named Kunio Lemari, Minister of Transport and Communications, as Acting President. New presidential elections, held on 14 January 1997, were won by Amata Kabua's cousin Imata Kabua. The newly formed United Democratic Party (UDP), led by Litokwa Tomeing, gained a majority in parliament in November 1999, and Kessai Note was elected president.