Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Leadership introduces bill to designate seats for women in FSM Congress

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): December 2, 2008 - On Day Two of the Fifth Special Session, Speaker Isaac V. Figir and Vice Speaker Resio S. Moses co-sponsored a bill that if passed, may forever change the landscape of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Among the legislations introduced on Day Two is the Speaker and Vice Speaker co-sponsored Congressional Bill (CB) 15-169, which proposes four designated seats in the FSM Congress for women. The bill's stated purpose is for "increasing the representation of women in Congress by increasing the number of at-large seats in Congress, and reserving said seats for women, and for other purposes."

The bill inspired a healthy discussion of views among members and while they collectively applauded its introduction, they also noted that nothing but personal choice has hindered women's participating in Congress.

As an amendment to the Constitution of the FSM, should the bill be signed into law, it would be placed for referendum.

Other bills introduced on the Day-2 included:

CB 15-165, an appropriation of $40,000 to fund the upcoming FSM Public Safety Academy;

CB 15-166 through 168, are bills to amend previous laws to change lapse dates and use of certain funds previously appropriated;

CB 15-170, is to appropriate $166,537 to provide funding for Caroline Islands Air (CIA); and

CB 15-171, to appropriate an additional $435,999 towards the 2009 Budget.

Nominations were the contents of the Resolutions introduced on Day-2 and they included:

Congressional Resolution (CR) 15-168 - to confirm the nomination of Kapilly Capelle as the Pohnpei State representative on the MiCare Board of Directors,

CR 15-169 - calls upon the President to request the United States for the establishment of a Office of Insular Affairs in the FSM;

CR 15-170 - to extend the FSM Congress congratulations to the newly elected leadership of Republic of Palau, leadership of both the Executive and Legislative Branches; and

CR 15-171 - to confirm the nomination Lorin S. Robert to the US-FSM Compact of Free Association Joint Economic Management Committee (JEMCO).

Following the introduction of bills and resolutions and the rest of the order of the day, Congress recessed and joined the afternoon's functions already underway to observe the first ever National Prayer Day.

The National Prayer Day was an executive branch initiative intended to allow the nations' leaders to have fellowship together in for overall improvement relationships. The National Government Central Facilities in Palikir hosted the day's event which included statements by Father Francis X. Hezel and Bender Enicar along with remarks by the heads of the three branches of the national government - President Emanuel Mori, Speaker Isaac V. Figir and Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich.

Speaker Figir's statement called on the government, the people and the nation to "rededicate ourselves to unity." He reminded those gathered that the nation was built on the premise of unity among many different people therefore as the many challenges of the modern world reach the shores of the FSM "let us pray to have the strength and the wisdom to face the challenges together in unity, as one people [...] let us realize that in the long run, our unity is our strength and our salvation."

In addition to the guest speakers and the national government workers, witnesses to the day's event included members of the FSM Congress, Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa and officials from the State along with the heads of all the diplomatic missions in the FSM.

The National Prayer Day's short ceremony concluded with a luncheon hosted by the Office of the President.


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
e-mail: congresspio@mail.fm
http://www.fsmcongress.fm