With the election of the first commoner to the Marshall Islands presidency since independence in 1979, it was expected that Kessai Note would introduce a different style of leadership, one not driven by local interests. Also unprecedented was Note's association with the newly formed, reformist UDP, which scored a stunning upset over the government party in the November 1999 elections. Voicing his intention to end the corruption that characterized the previous administration, Note has used the terms "credible," "accountable," and "transparent" to characterize the type of government he intends to lead. Note established a Task Force on Accountability to address government corruption and his plans to fight it. Note has been called upon to take action on reducing the budget deficit, and in 2001, the RMI's debt to U.S. banks was retired.