Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Edward heads national election office

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): November 5, 2001 - On October 31 2001, Bernell Wiriel Edward was sworn into office as the new National Election Director for the Federated States of Micronesia.

Witness to the ceremony in the President's Cabinet meeting room included, President Leo A. Falcam and his Cabinet; Lieutenant Governor Jack E. Yakana of Pohnpei State; members of the FSM Congress - Senators Peter M. Christian and Dohsis Halbert; traditional members of Kitti municipality; former State Governor, Del Pangelinan; National and State government officials and a gathering of families and close friends.

Pohnpei State Chief Justice Judah Johnny administered the Oath of Office to which Edward pledged to uphold the laws governing the Constitution of the nation and carry out his duties and responsibilities to the best of his abilities.

President Falcam welcomed the Director on board and forewarned him of the arduous task ahead of him and the immense responsibilities that accompany the position, "you are taking one of the most difficult job there is in the government."

The new Director succeeded Max Mallarme who had held the office since 1995 and resigned earlier in the summer for medical reasons.

Edward's career started as a teacher in the early 70s' where his extensive involvement in the community secured him the position of State Community Development Officer in 1972. A position he held until 1980 when he became the Executive Director for the newly established Ponape Community Action Agency. In 1984, Edward was elected to Pohnpei State Legislature and retained his seat for the next 16-years where he chaired several committees that included: Judiciary and Governmental Operations and Public Works, Transportation and Communications. During his terms he was also elected as Speaker of the 4th State Legislature (1996-1998). Edward left the State Legislature in 2000 and shortly thereafter was appointed the Commissioner of Pohnpei State National Election Commission. A year later, he was nominated for national elections office and later confirmed as its Director.

Edward is married to former Bersina Lekka and they have six children.

After the ceremony, Edward's family hosted a nice luncheon to which all witnesses and participants of the ceremony were invited.

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