Palikir, Pohnpei. On July 7, 2015, the Nineteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia opened its First Special Session day at the Nation’s capital in Palikir, Pohnpei with the swearing in ceremony of the winning candidates, former Vice President Alik L. Alik and Senator David W. Panuelo (former two-year Senator for Pohnpei’s Election District 3), of the July 1st 2015 FSM Special Election for the two at-large Congressional seats vacated by now President Peter M. Christian and Vice President Yosiwo P. George.
Speaker Simina, at the outset of the opening, welcomed and made notable recognition of H.E. President Christian and T.H. Vice President George, members of the various Diplomatic Corp in the FSM including US Ambassador H.E. Doria Rosen, People’s Republic of China Ambassador H.E. Li Jie, Japan’s Ambassador H.E. Masaki Sakai, the various traditional leaders and state government leaders from the four FSM States, and the large crowd in attendance to witness the opening day of the First Special Session of the newly organized Congress.
Senator Isaac V. Figir, who was the appointed Chairman of the Credentials Committee reported on the committee’s acceptance of the credentials of both winning candidates, followed by Speaker Simina administering the Oath of Office to now Senator Panuelo (at-large for Pohnpei State) and Senator Alik (at-large for Kosrae State).
“This is the first of many firsts in our Nation’s young history” remarked Senator Urusemal (at-large for Yap State) with a congratulatory reference to the notion that this is the first time in the FSM’s history where an at-large four-year seating Senator, now Speaker Wesley W. Simina, was appointed by the Congressional body to serve as the Speaker of Congress. Prior to this momentous act of Congress, the Speaker had always been a two-year seating Senator.
Further noting another historic feat was Senator Panuelo’s winning of Pohnpei’s four-year at-large seat who prior to taking his oath was a Member of Congress seated as the two-year representative of Pohnpei’s election district 3.
Speaker Simina declared the vacancy of this Congressional seat for the Pohnpei State election district 3 which Senator Panuelo previously held and resigned. According to Revised National Election Act of 2005, The FSM National Election Director “shall schedule a special election to occur 50 days after receipt of notification of the need for a special election”.
The First Special Session of the Nineteenth FSM Congress is scheduled for 10-days, but may be shortened or extended by Congressional Resolution. For information on measures during this First Special Session of Congress, please visit www.fsmcongress.fm.