Simina, Moses and Harper maintain Congress Leadership; Panuelo and George move to Executive

PALIKIR, POHNPEI May 17, 2019.  The First Regular Session of the new Twenty-First Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened on Saturday – May 11, to foremost, organize the leadership of the FSM national government.

On Saturday morning, the leaderships and members of the state and municipal governments, the various regional and international communities, along with leaderships of the Nation’s expanding civic societies and the interested general public were jam-packed into the Congress Chamber in Palikir to witnessed the organization of the new Congress and the election of the new President and Vice President of the FSM.

The morning’s elections started with the administration of Oath of Senators to the elected members of the 21st Congress and organization of the Legislative Branch. The Members, through consensus, elected to maintain for the new Congressional Body, the same leadership from the 20th Congress.  Senator Wesley W. Simina of Chuuk State was re-elected to the Speakership with Senator Esmond B. Moses of Pohnpei State re-elected as Vice Speaker and Senator Florencio Singkoro Harper of Chuuk State maintained his role as the Floor Leader. 

For the Executive Branch, the at-large 4-year representative of Pohnpei State, Senator David W. Panuelo, was elected as the President of the FSM. He becomes the Ninth person seated as the Head of State for the FSM.  Senator Yosiwo P. George, the at-large 4-year representative of Kosrae State,  was elected to resume his role at the Executive Branch as the Vice President of the FSM.

Following the elections and the administration of the Oath of Office to President Panuelo and Vice President George, Speaker Simina declared the 4-year seats for Pohnpei and Kosrae as Vacant. According to the Title 9 of the FSM Code, Sec. 105(2), the Nation has 50-days following the declaration of vacancy to hold a Congress Special Election - and that date is set for July 2, 2019.

The day’s reorganization concluded with the election of chairpersons for the Congressional Standing Committees:
1. Chairman Isaac V. Figir - Committee on Ways and Means;
2. Chairman Robson U. Romolow - Committee on Judiciary & Government Operations (J&GO);
3. Chairman Dion G. Neth - Committee on Resources & Development;
4. Chairman Ferny S. Perman - Committee on Health & Social Affairs;
5. Chairman Joseph J. Urusemal - Committee on Education;
6. Chairman Palinoa K. Welly - Committee on External Affairs
7. Chairman Victor V. Gouland - Committee on Transportation & Communication; and
8. Chairman Derensio S. Konman - Special Committee on Climate Change & Environment.

Unless agreed upon for earlier adjournment, the First Regular Session of the 21st Congress is scheduled to adjourn on May 31, 2019.  The interested general public is always welcome to observe the Congress in session.

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