Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Mori calls Special Session for emergency appropriations, among others

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Congress): December 31, 2008 - The Sixth Special Session of the 15th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia will convene on January 5 2008, as called by President Emanuel 'Manny' Mori to address matters of appropriations for emergency, among others.

This is despite a request from Speaker Isaac V. Figir for the President to rescind his call for a Special Session and to, instead, invoke his authority under the Constitution which dictates that in a national emergency - all available resources of the nation are at the President's disposal.

In early December severe weather anomalies occurred in the Pacific Ocean which resulted in tidal surges that had devastating effects to outlying islands of the FSM. A Presidential Emergency Declaration on December 29th declared State of Emergency for the States of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap.

On the same day, President Mori's call for special session came by way of a letter to Speaker Figir in which he requested the Congress to convene from January 5 thru 9 to consider the following matters:

  1. Appropriation for the emergency plan;
  2. Appropriation for the Infrastructure Sector;
  3. Appropriation for T-3, FSM Public Auditor Chuuk field office & Police Academy; and
  4. Office of SBOC (two positions).

Speaker Figir shared with the President various concerns about the timing of the call, one of which is logistical arrangements for members at such a short notice. Another concern speaker noted in his letter to the President is the "uncertainty of the financial situation of the nation in light of the recent world economical upheaval."

The Speaker also noted that with respect to the Compact Infrastructure appropriations, "there are many legal and policy issues involving the states that require consultation before we take action.

"In light of the above, I would request, to avoid an unproductive and expensive session at this time of financial uncertainty that you consider rescinding your call for a special session," Speaker Figir noted in his letter.

The Speaker's letter went on to encourage the President to consider utilizing his Constitutional Authority to mobilize all available national resources and when a better assessment of the damages are available, the FSM Congress can then supplement the President's efforts as necessary.

The FSM Congress has already scheduled January 26th to convene its Sixth Regular Session for 10-days duration.

President Mori's follow-up response on December 31 declined Speaker's request and therefore the Sixth Special Session of the 15th FSM Congress, as called, will convened on Monday - January 5 and to continue until January 9, 2008.

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