Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Third FSM Constitutional Convention Concluded

POHNPEI, Palikir (FSM Information Service): December 28, 2001 - After approving fourteen (14) proposals, Delegates to the Third FSM Constitutional Convention celebrated, Wednesday, December 26, in a closing ceremony marking the completion of long days and nights of work.

It was during the approaching of Tropical Storm Faxai, which circulated around Pohnpei for almost a week, when Delegates to the convention decided not to blink, but sailed right through it. And, they did. Did it with gusto and came out with fourteen proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Federated State of Micronesia.

The proposals will go to the voters in a referendum, which the Delegates have asked the President of the FSM to call, for May 07, 2002.

Perhaps the most substantial among the fourteen proposals are C.P. No. 01-21, the direct election by the people of the President and the Vice President of the FSM, and C.P. No. 01-16, which change the make up of the Congress and the length of their terms, making them all four year terms, increasing the at large members by four, and placing a term limit of three terms.

Other proposals include C.P. No. 01-1, requiring a minimum of four justices to serve on the bench of the FSM Supreme Court, and that at least one justice reside in each of the four states. The proposal also authorizes the Chief Justice to appoint a justice pro temp, if a vacancy is not filled within one year. The other proposals are; C.P. No. 01-2, to allow FSM citizens to hold dual citizenship; C.P. No. 01-5, to strip the National Courts of any jurisdiction whatsoever in cases where interests in land are at issue regardless of the diversity of citizenship; C.P. No. 01-7, to provide for full faith and credit among the states; C.P. No. 01-8, to create the office of the Independent Prosecutor; C.P. No. 01-9, to provide for a continual annuity for former presidents and vice presidents; C.P. No. 01-11, to require the National Government to establish certain standards for primary and secondary schools and to establish a fund to help the schools meet those standards; C.P. No. 01-13, conferring on the National Government and State Governments the concurrent power to levy value-added taxes; C.P. No. 01-15, to alter the distribution of tax revenue between the National Government and the States to increase the states' share of revenue from not less than 50 percent to not less than 80 percent; C.P. No. 01-24, relating to foreign financial assistance; C.P. No. 01-25, to provide for the number of votes required to override a presidential veto; and C.P. No. 01-26, to provide for the number of votes required in the Congress to pass a bill on First and Second Readings.

While fourteen proposed amendments passed during the 45 scheduled meeting days, the Convention actually completed all necessary action on the proposals on the 41st day of the session. On the last day, Delegates Kasio Mida and Sanphy William, both of Chuuk, could not attend due to health and family reasons, while Delegate Aren Palik of Kosrae had to leave before the Convention was adjourned sine die to catch his flight. With the exception Delegates resident in Pohnpei, all Delegates also spent Christmas in Pohnpei, away from their homes and families, to finish their work on time.

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