Marshall Islands opposition party declared victory Thursday night, saying it "is ready to takeover the reins of government after defeating President Kessai Note, reported Pacific Magazine, a Suve-based journal, on Friday.
The declaration for what has been called the "worst run" national election in the nation's history comes despite a final vote count not being expected until Dec. 4.
Radio New Zealand reported that the administration of Kessai Note, who has been President for three terms, and his United Democratic Party, will not have a majority and could be shut out of government altogether.
Officials are still counting absentee votes from within the country, while overseas postal votes will not be counted until next week.
The opposition Aelon Kein Ad party already obtained 15 of the 17 seats it needs for a majority.
Aelon Kein Ad party spokesman Tony de Brum said the party is to win an expected 20 to 22 seats in the 33-member legislature and to form a new government.
With a population of nearly 61,000, the Marshall Islands consist of two chains of coral atolls, together with more than 1,000 islets, just north of the Equator.
The islands were occupied by the U.S. for several decades after World War II. They are now a sovereign nation under a Compact of Free Association with the U.S.