Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM overhauls Election Law

Palikir, POHNPEI (FSM Information Services): August 30, 2006 - President Joseph J. Urusemal has signed Public Law 14-76, enacting a new election law for the Federated States of Micronesia.

Repealing the entire Title Nine of the FSM Code, the newly signed law detailed procedural requirements for elections in the FSM.

A significant amendment to the election law is the elimination of the overseas polling places. The new law allows for only two special polling places for FSM citizens abroad - one in Honolulu and the other in Guam.

President Urusemal noted in his transmittal letter to Speaker Peter M. Christian that the overhaul of FSM's election law is "indeed an historic occasion because both the Executive and the Legislative branches collectively acknowledged the flaws in the current election regime" and cooperated extensively to finalize the new law.

He expressed confidence that the detailed procedural requirements in the new law would help "prevent fraud and election irregularities in future elections." The President further requested Congress's continued support in the implementation of FSM's new election law.

An election related measure has also been signed into law. Public Law 14-69 appropriated a sum of $695,650 towards several pressing national needs among which includes funding of the upcoming National General Elections in March 2007.

As stated in P.L. 14-69, the sum of $ 695,650 is to be apportioned as follows:

268,700 - National General Elections of March 2007
205,000 - Towards PUC overdue bills
131,950 - Caroline Air: overhaul and cost of insurance only
60,000 - Executive travel to outer islands of the FSM
30,000 - Assistance to former President Tosiwo Nakayama

The other measures signed into law by the President include:

P.L. 14-70, which appropriated a Supplemental Budget of $ 623,442 for the FY-06.

P.L. 14-71, which changes the use of certain funds previously appropriated for capital improvement projects and programs under P.L. 12-50.

P.L. 14-72, noted certain technical changes to P.L. 14-67, a recent measure signed towards projects and programs in the four States. The President has, however, noted that certain funds may not be dispersed until the FSM Department of Finance and Administration has appropriately designated an allottee.

P.L. 14-73, authorized overtime compensation for Food Inspectors and National Police Officers.

The two final legislations referenced appropriations authorized under a previous law (P.L. 14-35) to fund the State Projects in Fiscal Year 2006. Public Law 14-74 appropriated $57,454 to fund public projects and programs in the State of Yap, while Public Law 14-75, appropriated $29,815 to fund public projects and programs in the Pohnpei State's Election District 1.

Referencing the previously noted law (P.L. 14-35) for FY 2006 Project Funds, President Urusemal vetoed two Congressional Acts requesting appropriations for Public Projects and Programs in Pohnpei State's Election District 3: C.A. 14-96 & C.A. 14-97.

The President noted that appropriations from the FY-2006 Project Funds law "shall be made 'only' as permitted by the balance of funds in the account maintained for each Election District or State at large needs."

Veto of the two measures was therefore based on the report from the Department of Finance and Administration that the project funds for Pohnpei's ED-3 have "already been expended," therefore additional appropriations can not be allowed.

The vetoes and the newly signed laws were measures from the recent Fourth Special Session of the 14th FSM Congress held July 10 - 14, 2006.

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