National Elections Unseat Two and Defeats Proposed Amendment

 

PALIKIR, POHNPEI. March 13, 2017 - The Office of National Election on Friday released the unofficial results of the Tuesday’s elections for the two-year seats in the Nation’s next Congressional Body and results of the Constitutional Amendment to repeal Article III, Section 3 on dual citizenship. According to the unofficial results, two current Members will not be returning for the reorganization of the Twentieth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia and the amendment to the Constitution fell short of the required threshold to change. 

The Nation went to polls on March 7, 2017, to elect its two-year representatives to the Nation’s Twentieth Congressional Body with twenty-two candidates vying for the 10 seats in the Body.  Results from the Office of the FSM National Election showed an overall total of 39,067 votes were cast across the Nation and abroad.

From the State of Chuuk a total 23,093 votes were cast for its five representatives and the result of votes in each Congressional Election District are as follows:

For Congressional Election District (ED) One, which is comprised of the Mortlock Islands, the total votes for the sole candidate and incumbent Florencio Singkoro Harper was 2,359. In ED-Two, which is comprised of the main island of Weno, incumbent Victor ‘Vicky’ Gouland retained his seat with 3,793 votes over Tesime Kofot’s votes of 1,698.

The islands of Tonoas, Uman, Fefan, Parem and Tsis make up the state’s ED-Three and incumbent Bonsiano Fasy Nethon with 2,556 votes lost his seat to newcomer Derensio S. Konman who had 3,957 votes.  In the Faichuuk Region, which makes up the state’s ED-Four, incumbent Tiwiter Aritos was unchallenged and received a total of 5,110 votes.

Incumbent Robson Romolow retained his seat for ED-Five or the state’s chain of Western Islands, Halls and Namonuito Atoll with 1,346 votes.  Candidates Williander D. Jack received 772 votes and Mathias Kuor 499 votes.

In the State of Kosrae a total of 1,583 votes were cast for the sole candidate, incumbent Paliknoa K. Welly to maintain his seat in the next Body. While there were 45 votes for several write-in candidates, they only amounted to 3 percent of all votes cast. 

The State of Pohnpei cast a total of 14,391 votes for its three representatives as follows:

In Congressional Election District One, comprised of the municipalities of Kolonia, Sokehs, Sapwuahfik, Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi, incumbent Ferny S. Perman maintained his seat with 3156 votes over the 2028 votes for challenger Merlynn Abello-Alfonso. Abello-Alfonso is one of the two women who entered this year’s race for the national legislative body.

Comprised of the municipalities of Kitti and Madolenihmw, the results in ED-Two showed that incumbent Berney Martin with 1401 votes lost his seat to Dion G. Neth’s 1,511 votes. Neth was a former Member of Congress who in 2011 was unseated by Martin. Other contenders were Francisco L. Ioanis, who received 1132 votes; Herman Semes Jr. with 865 votes; Nixon B. Soram 535 votes; and  Naiten O. Phillip with 357 votes.

In ED-Three comprised of U, Nett, Mwoakilloa and Pingelap, incumbent Esmond B. Moses maintained his seat with his 2,548 votes over the challenger’s votes of 790. The challenger was Marstella E. Jack the other female candidate who entered her name in the 2017 national elections.

With a total of 2,772 votes cast in the State of Yap, incumbent Isaac V. Figir maintained his seat with a total of 2,281votes. His challenger Fidelis Thiyer-Fanoway received 457 votes.

Along with elections for its two-year representatives in the next congressional body, the Nation also voted on an amendment to the FSM Constitution to repeal the section in the Constitution that addresses dual citizenship. Results showed that while the amendment garnered 31,336 votes, the affirmative did not meet the required “3/4 of the votes cast…in each of 3/4 of the states” to pass and was therefore defeated. 

The proposed amendment was to repeal the section in the Constitution that addressed the matter of citizenship. According to Section 3 of Article III of the Constitution “A citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia who is recognized as a citizen of another nation shall, within 3 years of his 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the effective date of this Constitution, whichever is later, register his intent to remain a citizen of the Federated States and renounce his citizenship of another nation.  If he fails to comply with this Section, he becomes a national of the Federated States of Micronesia.”

In order for the amendment to pass, the Constitution requires “3/4 of the votes cast … in each of 3/4 of the states” which is 75% of each state’s votes and 75% of overall votes cast nation-wide. The votes in the respective states are as follows:

While the State of Chuuk cast a total 12,735 votes for the amendment, the YES votes however totaled to only 61%.  Votes from the State of Pohnpei totaled 14,344 for the amendment with the YES reaching 71.21%. The State of Yap with 2,694 votes also had less YES votes that made up 48% of total votes cast.  The State of Kosrae, with its 1563 votes cast for the amendment, was the only state that approved it by 85%.

Short of the threshold mandated by the Constitution, the Constitutional Amendment as proposed did not pass.

 

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