Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

President Nena and Vice President Falcam Inaugurated

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): May 28, 1997 - The FSM's new President and Vice President were inaugurated, May 14, 1997, in a ceremony held in front of the FSM Congress Chamber in Palikir, the Capitol of the nation, Vice President Leo A. Falcam took his oath of office administered by Chief Justice Judah Johnny of Pohnpei State Supreme Court, President Nena took his oath of office in a ceremony held on May 8, 1997, in front of the President's Office Building, completing the two-year balance of former President Bailey Olter's four year.

More than two hundred people from the four FSM States and resident foreigners including government officials from the FSM national, the four FSM States, local levels, members of the Diplomatic Corps, traditional and church leaders and the general public attended the inauguration, which refreshments were served at its conclusion.

In his inaugural speech, President Nena promised his administration's cooperation with Congress, state governments, with and among government employees in pursuance of the stated goals and objectives of the government. Nena promised that he and Vice President Falcam will continue with the programs set forth by his predecessor President Bailey Olter. Nena praised him for his charismatic leadership, and asked that he is remembered in everyone's prayer(s).

In a special remark by the Honorable Jack Fritz, the Speaker of the 10th Congress, said that the 18 years existence of the FSM Government "[...] exemplifies [...] our growing maturity as a nation. We are able to stand up, he stated, installed four Presidents and 10 Congresses in office in a peaceful and democratic process which is essential to good government."

Turning to the FSM's economy, Fritz stated that it is not too late for the FSM to come up with a source of economic growth to offset the impending severe decline in external assistance. First step Fritz stated is to maximize appropriate economic development by putting more money; and for the States and National governments to work together to ensure the economic development programs are consistent and supportive of local needs. "It is only through faith in ourselves and our people that, by concerted effort, we can begin these courageous actions," Fritz concluded.

Acting Governor of Pohnpei, Dion Neth welcomed dignitaries and the general public on behalf of Governor Del Pangelinan and the people of Pohnpei and extended his congratulations to the President and Vice President, and reiterated the need for cooperation of all. Neth paid tribute to President Olter and called for his remembrance in everyone's prayer for his speedy recovery.

Iso Naniken of Net, Honorable Salvador Iriarte, speaking on behalf of the traditional leaders of Pohnpei and the nation said that the message he was tasked to relay is that the traditional leadership endorsed the top national leadership as unreserved support for all their efforts. He, however, reminded the new executive and legislative leaders to continue to be mindful of the citizenry whom they were elected to serve. He questioned why speeches during important FSM occasion were made only in (the) English language and not in the local languages for the benefit of the ordinary citizens of the FSM; he then asked the Master of Ceremony to summarize his remarks in English for the benefit of those who do not speak the Pohnpeian language.

The invocation was given by Deacon Marty Rodriquez of the Kolonia Catholic Church while the benediction was by Rev. Welter John, Pohnpei United Church of Christ. Music for the occasion was provided by the Danpei Youth Christian Association (DYCA).

An Inter-Denominational Service was held for the new FSM leadership at the Kolonia Protestant Church (NMP) at 1 o'clock, May 18, 1997, the general public were invited to attend.

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