Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

New Congress maintains officers, reshuffle committee heads

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): May 13, 2009 - The Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened in Palikir on Monday at 10am for the Opening Session of the new Sixteenth Congress to seat the recently elected members of the new Congress.

Opening Sessions not only mark the First Regular Session of a new Congress, it also provides the platform for reorganization of the Congress leadership. Members of the new FSM Congress elected to maintain the presiding officers of the 15th Congress, but decided to re-shuffle the Chairpersons of the Congressional Committees.

The Presiding Officers of the new Sixteenth FSM Congress are:

Speaker: Senator Isaac V. Figir
Vice Speaker: Senator Resio S. Moses
Floor Leader: Senator Joe N. Suka

The Chairperson for the seven Congressional Committees are:

1. Senator Dohsis Halbert, Committee on Ways and Means;
2. Senator Peter Sitan, Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations;
3. Senator Roger S. Mori, Committee on Resources and Development;
4. Senator Joseph J. Urusemal, Committee on Education;
5. Senator Dion G. Neth, Committee on Transportation and Communications;
6. Senator Setiro Paul, Committee on Health and Social Affairs; and
7. Senator Paliknoa K. Welly, Committee on External Affairs.

Memberships in the Committees will be decided by the each delegation.

Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich administered the Oath of Office of Senator to the states recently elected two-year senators and to the at-large or four year senators alike. In alphabetical order of States, sworn in members of the new Sixteenth FSM Congress are:

State of Chuuk

1. Senator Setiro Paul, At-large;
2. Senator Peter Sitan, Election District 1 (Mortlock Islands);
3. Senator Roger S. Mori, ED. 2: (Northern Namoneas);
4. Senator Joe N. Suka, ED. 3: (Southern Namoneas);
5. Senator Tiwiter Aritos, ED. 4: (Faichuuk Region); and
6. Senator Tony H. Otto, ED. 5: (Northwestern Islands)

State of Kosrae

7. Senator Claude H. Phillip, At-Large
8. Senator Paliknoa K. Welly, ED. 1

State of Pohnpei

9. Senator Resio S. Moses, at-Large;
10. Senator Dohsis Halbert, ED. 1: (Sokehs, Kolonia, Sapwuahfik, Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi);
11. Senator Dion G. Neth, ED.2: (Madolenihmw and Kitti); and
12. Senator Fredrico O. Primo, ED 3: (U, Nett, Pingelap and Mwoakilloa)

State of Yap

13. Senator Joseph J. Urusemal, At-Large
14. Senator Isaac V. Figir

The Opening Day was crowded as usual with leadership from both the national government and the state governments along with traditional leadership and members of the Diplomatic Community. Lending their presence to the day's proceedings were former Presidents John Haglelgam and Leo A. Falcam along with former Speakers Jack Fritz and Peter M. Christian. The National Anthem was sung by Mrs. Judy S. Penias. Those who were not in the Chambers on May 11th, were able to tune in to the local radio stations for the day's proceedings via a live-broadcast through the FSM Telecommunications Corporation.

The First Regular Session of the 16th FSM Congress is expected to last for 20-days, unless shortened or extended by resolution and pursuant to the Constitution, the two-year cycle for the Sixteenth Congress of the FSM would be from May 11, 2009 through May 10, 2011.

For further information on this release, please contact:

Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia
Public Information Office
P.O Box PS-3
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2324/2325
Fax.: (691) 320-5122