Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Acting President Nena Vetoed Act 9-155, CB 9-223, C.D.3

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): May 7, 1997 - On May 7, 1997, then Acting President Jacob Nena in a letter to Speaker Jack Fritz, stated that he vetoed Congressional Act No. 9-155, establishing a FSM Joint Committee. Nena's main objection was the amendment included which increased Congress' membership from one to four.

Nena said the substantial increase of Congressional representation run counter with the principle upon which FSM Government is founded, that the President is responsible for foreign affairs and will report to Congress for approval of any government-to-government agreement.

The original proposal was to have a six-member Joint Committee; one each from the Executive Branch, Congress, and each state. The Department of External Affairs is responsible for spearheading and coordinating negotiations to commence in November 1999.

During the State and National Leadership Conference (SNLC) second day's meeting, May 15, 1997, Congress Speaker Jack Fritz reminded the President that the old bill had died with (the) Ninth Congress, therefore, a new proposed legislation must be submitted for Congress' consideration in its current session.

FSM Ambassador to the United States, Marehalau and his Legal Advisor Jim Stovall, III, reported to the SNLC on what has been done to date.

In a May 15, 1997, letter to Congress Speaker Fritz, President Nena submitted a proposed legislation for the establishment of a Joint Committee on Compact Negotiation (JCN) with six instead of nine members similar to the one submitted during the Ninth Congress and requested a favorable consideration of Congress.

The expeditious consideration and passage of this bill is critical to our nation's preparation for the Compact negotiation that are required to commence in November 1999, Nena concluded.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356