New Congress Leadership: Speaker Moses, Vice Speaker Romolow and Floor Leader Lawrence

PALIKIR, POHNPEI. May 23, 2023– The new Twenty-Third Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened on May 11, 2023, to foremost organize the new Congressional Body and elect the leadership of the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Nation’s national government.

On the bright Thursday morning, the leaderships and members of the state and municipal governments, the various regional and international communities, along with leadership of the Nation’s expanding civic societies and the interested general public were jam-packed into the Congress Chamber in Palikir to witness 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 the Oath of Office to the Senators-elect of the 23rd Congress and organization of the Legislative Branch. Through nominations and consensus, the Members elected a new leadership for the 23rd Congress:  Senator Esmond B. Moses of Pohnpei State was elected Speaker, with Senator Robson U. Romolow of Chuuk elected as Vice Speaker and Senator Quincy Lawrence of Pohnpei State as the Floor Leader. 

For the Executive Branch, Senator Wesley W. Simina of Chuuk was elected the Nation’s new President and becomes the tenth (10th) person seated as the Head of State and Head of Government for the FSM.  Senator Aren B. Palik of Kosrae was elected to resume his role as the Vice President of the FSM.

Following the administration of the Oath of Office to the President and Vice President, Speaker Moses declared VACANT the 4-year seats for the states of Chuuk and Kosrae.

The day’s reorganization concluded with the election of chairpersons for the Congressional Standing Committees of the 23rd Congress, and those heading the committees are:

1.   Chairman Isaac V. Figir - Committee on Ways and Means;
2.   Chairman Tiwiter Aritos - Committee on Judiciary & Government
       Operations (J&GO);
3.  Chairman Peter M. Christian - Committee on Resources & Development;
4.  Chairwoman Perpetua S. Konman - Committee on Health & Social Affairs;
5.  Chairman Joseph J. Urusemal - Committee on Education;
6.  Chairman Paliknoa K. Welly - Committee on External Affairs;
7.  Chairman Victor V. Gouland - Committee on Transportation &
     Communication; and
8. Chairwoman Merlynn Abello-Alfonso - Special Committee on Climate Change  
     Environmental Issues.  

Unless adjourned earlier by consensus, as a regular session, the First Regular Session of the 23rd Congress is set by statute for 20-days, to adjourn on May 30, 2023. Along with the reorganization of the new Congress, the May sessions start the legislative review process for the national budget and begins with the amended Compact portions of the upcoming budget for fiscal year 2024.

As set by statute, the next Regular Session of the Congress is set for September 12th, unless a special session is called to convene earlier.


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