Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Third FSM Constitutional Convention

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): November 8, 2001 - Changing the length of Congressional terms has become the first proposal introduced in the 3rd FSM Constitutional Convention. Introduced by Delegate Harry Saymour of Kosrae, who is the Convention Vice President, Delegate Proposal No. 01-1 has been assigned to the Committee on Government Structure and Functions. If passed and gets the nod from the people, the proposal would do away with the current set up of ten members serving for two years and four members serving for four years, and make all members of the Congress serve for four years.

According to the introducer, the proposal would reduce costs of elections, allow for a wider selection pool of eligible candidates to the offices of the President and Vice President, discourage pork barrel legislation every two years, reduce government expenditures and allow for continuity in the membership of the Congress, thereby benefiting the government by promoting productivity, efficiency and results.

Three other proposals were introduced by the Chuuk Delegation; Delegates Camillo Noket, Lorin Robert, James Naich, Kasio Mita, Wesley Simina and Sanphy William. D.P. No. 01-2, which proposes that a non citizen, or a corporation not wholly owned by FSM citizens, may not acquire title to land or waters in the FSM; provided that a state may permit by statute a landing institution to acquire title to land for not more than 25 years when land is used as security for loan and the borrower defaults upon the loan. D.P. Nos. 01-3 and 01-4 would create a Judicial Commission whose responsibility would be to review on a periodic basis the performance of Judges and recommend at least three applicants for judgeship to the President and, finally, the President and Vice President to be elected by the people in a general election every 4 years. The current practice has been that the President and Vice President of the nation are elected among the four year at-large members of Congress by the fourteen (14) members of the Congress. If approved by the Convention and by a general referendum the President and Vice President of the FSM would have to be elected by the people in the General Election.

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