Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

2nd FSM President heads 3rd Constitutional Convention

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): November 2001 - The Third Constitutional Convention of the Federated State of Micronesia has convened and elected the Second President of the Federated States of Micronesia, John Haglelgam of Yap State, as its President.

The event took place at the Congress Chamber in Palikir, with FSM Vice President Redley Killion presiding as Acting President until Haglelgam took over later in the session that day, as prescribed under the law. Representation in the Convention mirrored those of the FSM Congressional Districts, and At-Large Representatives for each State.

The main business for the day was for the 14-delegates Convention to organize and elect its presiding officers, which, beside the Presidency, includes a Vice President, a Floor Leader, and a Chairman of the Committee of the Whole.

The Delegates were introduced unto the floor by Epel Ilon, the Convention Secretary, before the formal opening of the Convention. As customary in FSM, the opening formalities were prefaced with a prayer offered by Pastor Isamo Welles, of the Calvary Baptist Church, followed by brief remarks by Acting Convention President Killion.

In his remarks, acting President Killion congratulated the delegates and challenged the delegates to judge whether, after two decades, the existing supreme law of the land continues to serve the fundamental interest of the nation. He also pointed out the founding fathers' wisdom and foresight in establishing the fundamental machinery of the government which is adaptable to the changing times and circumstance.

He told the Delegates that they have been given the trust and the mandate to review the supreme law of the land and to propose amendments where appropriate, expressing confidence in them that they would rise to the challenge and successfully execute the public trust invested in them.

The remarks were followed by the Oath of Office for the Delegates, which was administered by the Chief Justice of the FSM Supreme Court, Andon Amaraich. Afterwards, the delegates elected their leadership as follows:

President - John Haglelgam (Yap)
Vice President - Harry Seymore (Kosrae)
Chairman of the Committee of the Whole - Lorin Robert (Chuuk)
Floor Leader - Naiten O. Phillip (Pohnpei)

The appointed Chairs for the Standing Committees are:

  1. Committee on Civil Liberties and Traditions - Camillo Noket (Chuuk)

  2. Committee on Public Finance and Revenue - Aren Palik (Kosrae)

  3. Committee on Government Structure and Functions - Kasio E. Mida (Chuuk)

  4. Committee on General Provisions - Beauleen Carl-Worswick (Pohnpei)

  5. Committee on Style and Arrangements - Wesley Simian (Chuuk)

Haglelgam was the second (1987 - 1991) President of FSM and former member of the Congress of Micronesia during the Trust Territory period. He is currently a professor at the National Campus of the College of Micronesia-FSM.

In his remarks, Convention President Haglelgam thanked the Delegates and pledged to be diligent, fair and honest in the entrusted position. The Third FSM Constitutional Convention, said Haglelgam, marks the 20th year of living under the current Constitution and therefore needs a critical assessment and re-evaluation.

He ended his remarks with a challenge to the delegates to strengthen the critical unity of the nation in their deliberations by considering three major points:

  1. empowerment of the people to participate in national critical discussions;

  2. consideration of proposals that will deal with political dissent;

  3. consideration of proposals that will deal with wise and effective utilization of the nations meager resources.

The Convention adjourned shortly afterwards to reconvene the following morning at 10.

With the assistance of FSM Telecommunications and Dave Arthurs from V6AF Radio, the opening ceremonies were broadcasted live throughout the four States. An admirable crowd of witnesses were in the Chambers that included Governor of Kosrae, Rensley Sigrah; former Governor of Yap, John Mangafel; officials from National, State and Municipal governments and the general communities.

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