Legislature of the Marshall Islands

Brenson Wase
since 3 January 2024
Vice Speaker
Issac Zacharias
since 3 January 2024
Seats33 members
Political groups
  Independent (33)
Length of term
4 years
single and multi-seat constituencies
Last election
20 November 2023
Meeting place
Capitol Building, Majuro

The Legislature of the Marshall Islands (Marshallese: Nitijeļā [nʲidˠiːzʲɛlˠæ])[2] has 33 members, elected for a four-year term in nineteen single-seat and five multi-seat constituencies. The last election was November 20, 2023. 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).


Bicameral Marshall Islands Congress was established in July 1950. The two chambers were the House of Iroij and the House of Assembly.[3] Kabua Kabua was the president of the House of Iroij in 1953. Atlan Anien was the president of the House of Assembly in 1953.[3]

The Congress was reformulated as unicameral in 1958.[4][5] Members were elected for a 4-year term. The congress was chaired by Atlan Anien in 1959, Amata Kabua in 1962, and Dwight Heine in 1963 and 1964[4]

The legislature, Nitijeļā, was established in its current form in 1979 by the Constitution of the Marshall Islands.


The salary of the speaker is set to 35,000 USD annually.[6]

Name Period Notes
Atlan Anien 1979–1988 [7]
Kessai Note 1988–1999 [7]
Litokwa Tomeing January 10, 2000 – 2007 [7]
Jurelang Zedkaia January 7, 2008 – October 26, 2009 [7]
Alvin Jacklick November 2, 2009 – January 7, 2012 [7]
Donald Capelle January 7, 2012 – January 4, 2016 [7]
Kenneth Kedi January 4, 2016 – January 3, 2024 [7]
Brenson Wase January 3, 2024 – Incumbent [7]

Members of Nitijeļā

The twenty-four electoral districts into which the country is divided correspond to the inhabited islands and atolls. There are four political parties in the Marshall Islands: Aelon Kein Ad (AKA), Kien Eo Am (KEA), United People's Party (UPP), and United Democratic Party (UDP). Control is shared by the AKA and the KEA.

Members of the Nitijeļā as of 2020[8]
Constituency Member Title Party
Ailinglaplap Atoll Alfred Alfred Jr. Minister of Resources and Development KEA
Christopher Loeak Senator, former president (2012–2015) AKA
Ailuk Atoll Maynard Alfred Senator KEA
Arno Atoll Jejwarick Anton Vice Speaker KEA
Mike Halferty Minister of Transportation and Communication Ind.
Aur Atoll Hilda Heine Senator, former president (2016–2020) Ind.
Ebon Atoll John Silk Minister of Foreign Affairs KEA
Enewetak Atoll Jack Ading Senator AKA
Jabat Island Kessai Note Senator, former president (2000–2007) UDP
Jaluit Atoll Daisy Alik-Momotaro Senator Ind.
Casten Nemra Senator, former president (2016) Ind.
Kili Island Eldon Note Senator UDP
Kwajalein Atoll Alvin Jacklick Senator KEA
Michael Kabua Senator AKA
David Paul Minister in Assistance to the President KEA
Lae Atoll Thomas Heine Minister of Justice AKA
Lib Island Joe Bejang Senator AKA
Likiep Atoll Leander Leander Jr. Senator AKA
Majuro Atoll Kalani Kaneko Minister of Health KEA
David Kramer Senator KEA
Tony Muller Minister of Public Works KEA
Sherwood Tibon Senator KEA
Brenson Wase Minister of Finance KEA
Maloelap Atoll Bruce Bilimon Senator AKA
Mejit Island Dennis Momotaro Senator UPP
Mili Atoll Wilbur Heine Minister of Education AKA
Namdrik Atoll Wisely Zackhras Senator UDP
Namu Atoll Tony Aiseia Senator AKA
Rongelap Atoll Kenneth Kedi Speaker KEA
Ujae Atoll Atbi Riklon Senator AKA
Utirik Atoll Amenta Matthew Minister of Internal Affairs KEA
Wotho Atoll David Kabua President AKA
Wotje Atoll Litokwa Tomeing Senator, former President UPP


The Nitijeļā has 7 permanent standing committees with oversight authority and legislative authority. All committees have 9 members.[9]

Nitijeļā Permanent Standing Committees[9]
Committee Chair Duties
Appropriation Casten Nemra considers and reports on all legislation relating to public expenditure or financial administration, both federal and local, including budget estimates and supplementary estimates referred to it
Public Accounts Bruce Bilimon considers the public funds and account of the Marshall Islands, in conjunction with the report of the Auditor-General on them; reports to the Nitijeļā any excess/unauthorized expenditures and the reasoning for it; proposes any legislation it deems necessary to ensure public funds are properly and efficiently spent and accounted for; reports to the Nitijeļā on any audit of public accounts
Health, Education, and Social Affairs Alvin Jacklick considers all legislation relating to the education, health, condition of labor, and well-being of the people of the Marshall Islands
Ways and Means Sherwood Tibon considers all legislation relating to the revenue of the federal and local governments, including matters relating to the administration of revenue laws
Judiciary and Governmental Relations Daisy Alik-Momotaro
Resources and Development David Kramer
Foreign Affairs and Trade Maynard Alfred


The Nitijeļā is supported by various staff.

Clerk of the Nitijeļā

The Clerk is the administrative head of the legislature, with authority to approve related matters. The Clerk prepares the Nitijeļā's business and serves as the legislature's secretary, keeping minutes and publishing them.[10]

The current Clerk is Morean Watak, and Carl Alik is her Assistant Clerk.[10]

Legislative Counsel

The Office of the Legislative Counsel was established in 1981. The office provides legal advice to MPs and the Speaker, as well as providing legislative drafting services. The Legislative Counsel also serves as the Commissioner of the Marshall Islands Revised Code if the Cabinet has not appointed a Commissioner.[11]

The current Legislative Counsel is Joe Lomae.[11]

See also


  1. ^ "History of the Nitijela". rmiparliament.org.
  2. ^ "Marshallese-English Dictionary". www.trussel2.com.
  3. ^ a b "Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands". Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Office of United Nations Political Affairs. August 2, 1955 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ a b "Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands". Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Office of United Nations Political Affairs. January 1, 1964 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ "Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands". Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Office of United Nations Political Affairs. 1971 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ Nitijela. "NITIJELA MEMBERS COMPENSATION ACT 1980" (PDF). rmiparliament.org.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h "Republic of the Marshall Islands". rmiparliament.org.
  8. ^ "Members". rmiparliament.org. Retrieved 2019-09-20.
  9. ^ a b "Permanent Standing Committees". rmiparliament.org. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  10. ^ a b "Office of the Clerk". rmiparliament.org. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  11. ^ a b "Office of the Legislative Counsel". rmiparliament.org. Retrieved 2019-02-27.