Official List of Candidates for the March 7th, 2023, General Election

Official List of Candidates for the March 7th, 2023, General Election

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—The Division of Public Information of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has received from the FSM Election Commission the Official List of Candidates for the March 7th, 2023, General Election.

 

The General Election on March 7th, 2023, will determine the fourteen (14) Senators who comprise the 23rd Congress of the FSM. Four (4) of the Senators will represent the States of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae in an “At-Large” capacity, serving for a four-year term. Ten (10) of the Senators will represent individual election districts within the States of Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae, serving for a two-year term.

 

Citizens may recall that when the 23rd Congress of the FSM sits on May 11th, 2023, the Congress will elect the President and Vice President from amongst the four “At-Large” Senators. The President and Vice President then immediately vacate their seats in Congress, leaving the two At-Large seats they were elected from empty until a Special Election later in the year (typically early July).

 

For the State of Chuuk’s At-Large Seat, the candidates are Gillian N. Doone, Nakama Sana, and Wesley W. Simina. The incumbent is Wesley W. Simina.

 

For the State of Chuuk’s Election District 1, the candidates are Florencio Singkoro Harper and Juan K. Martin. The incumbent is Florencio Singkoro Harper.

 

For the State of Chuuk’s Election District 2, the candidates are Tainiro K. Killion and Victor Vicky Gouland. The incumbent is Victor Vicky Gouland.

 

For the State of Chuuk’s Election District 3, the candidates are Myron S. Hasiguchi and Perpetua S. Konman. The incumbent is Perpetua S. Konman.

 

For the State of Chuuk’s Election District 4, there is only one candidate running who is running unopposed: Tiwiter H. Aritos, who is also the incumbent.

 

For the State of Chuuk’s Election District 5, the candidates are Robson U. Romolow, Ruphin Micky, and Zander Refilong. The incumbent is Robson U. Romolow.

 

For the State of Kosrae’s At-Large Seat, the candidates are Aren B. Palik and Yoslyn G. Sigrah. The incumbent, Rolinson Neth, will not be on the ballot.

 

For the State of Kosrae’s two-year seat, there is only one candidate running who is running unopposed: Paliknoa K. Welly, who is also the incumbent.

 

For the State of Pohnpei’s At-Large Seat, the candidates are David W. Panuelo, Peter M. Christian, Welson Panuel, and William N. Kostka. The incumbent is Peter M. Christian.

 

For the State of Pohnpei’s Election District 1, the candidates are Ferny S. Perman and Merlynn A. Alfonso. The incumbent is Ferny S. Perman.

 

For the State of Pohnpei’s Election District 2, the candidates are Dion G. Neth and Quincy Lawrence. The incumbent is Dion G. Neth.

 

For the State of Pohnpei’s Election District 3, the candidates are Erick Paul and Esmond B. Moses. The incumbent is Esmond B. Moses.

 

For the State of Yap’s At-Large Seat, the candidates are Fidelis Thiyer Fanoway and Joseph Urusemal. The incumbent is Joseph Urusemal.

 

For the State of Yap’s two-year seat, there is only one candidate running who is running unopposed: Isaac V. Figir, who is also the incumbent.

 

The list of candidates above has been screened by the Office of the National Election Director, who received background checks per their request to the FSM Supreme Court, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Health & Social Affairs. The official candidates have been determined to meet the criteria and qualifications as enumerated in the National Election Law and the Constitution of the FSM.

President Panuelo Signs Emergency Regulation & Proposed Permanent Regulation Implementing Public Law 22-139; Pohnpei Residents’ Cashpower Bill to be Reduced by 29 Cents per Kilowatt Hour

FSM Information Services

Press Release

President Panuelo Signs Emergency Regulation & Proposed Permanent Regulation Implementing Public Law 22-139; Pohnpei Residents’ Cashpower Bill to be Reduced by 29 Cents per Kilowatt Hour

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On November 28th, 2022, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—signed an emergency regulation, and proposed permanent regulation, implementing Public Law 22-139. Public Law 22-139 for the States of Chuuk and Kosrae, for example, remits 20% of tax revenue directly to the States for their respective Legislative Branches’ appropriation, but for the State of Pohnpei the law describes that—for Fiscal Year 2023—that the taxes “shall be remitted to fuel wholesalers for the purpose of providing a fuel subsidy on gasoline, diesel, and kerosene to Pohnpei residents.”

 

The practical effect of the regulation the President signed is that the FSM Petroleum Corporation shall apply the subsidy to discount the fuel purchases of the Pohnpei Utilities Corporation, which shall in turn pass the subsidy on to its residential customers in the form of discounted cash power (or electricity bills for postpaid accounts). This was determined to be the most accountable means of ensuring that the fuel subsidy has the widest and most transparently positive impact on residents of Pohnpei State, as there are significantly more households than cars and trucks.

 

“We’re looking at a subsidy of $1.54 per gallon,” President Panuelo said in a statement, “and so—if the current rate of power in Pohnpei is 61 cents per kilowatt hour, residents will save 29 cents, resulting in a price of about 32 cents per kilowatt hour. In other words, if your power bill today is $100 for the month, you are going to be looking at paying about $50 for the same amount of power, thus allowing you to put more money towards gas for your car, groceries for your family, Christmas presents for your kids, and just to help each other during this rough economic period.”

 

The subsidy takes effect immediately, and shall be in place for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2023 i.e. September 30th, 2023.

 

“I extend my deepest appreciation to the Honorable Wesley W. Simina, Speaker of the 22nd FSM Congress, and the rest of the Congress, with special thanks to the Pohnpei delegation—the Honorable Peter M. Christian, the Honorable Ferny S. Perman, the Honorable Dion G. Neth, and the Honorable Esmond B. Moses—for their leadership in easing some of the burdens our citizens are facing.”

 

The regulation may be found here: https://gov.fm/files/November_28_2022_-_Fuel_Subsidy.pdf

During Committee to Wait on the President, H.E. David W. Panuelo Advocates for Key Legacy Legislation

FSM Information Services

Press Release

During Committee to Wait on the President, H.E. David W. Panuelo Advocates for Key Legacy Legislation

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On November 28th, 2022, the 22nd Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) began its 6th Special Session, and the first to be held in-person since the COVID-19 Pandemic. After the opening session, His Excellency David W. Panuelo received the Committee to Wait on the President. Chaired by the Honorable Esmond B. Moses, Vice Speaker of the FSM Congress, committee members included the Honorable Rolinson Neth, the Honorable Isaac V. Figir, and the Honorable Perpetua Konman.

 

Among the multitude of items on the President agenda for the meeting included advocacy for legislation that are essential for the Nation’s development, such as the Marine Spatial Planning bill, the Freedom of Information Act, the Cybercrimes bill, the proposed Civil Liability Fund, and several priority tax bills that would enable the Government to issue Tax Identification Numbers and implement usage of the new Revenue Management System. Additionally, the President solicited Congress’ support for passing resolutions for various grants, such as on the Skills & Employability Enhancement Project (SEEP), which would see World Bank funding injected into the Nation’s education sector, and a grant from the Asian Development Bank to support the Nation’s renewable energy initiatives.

 

Beyond advocating for legislation, the President also briefed the Congress on several items of import, such as the agreement between the FSM Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) and the Open Access Entity (OAE) that there will be no objection or interference in allowing the East Micronesia Cable Project to access the HANTRU-1 fiber optic cable.

 

Additionally, the President described the FSM Executive Branch’s supplemental budget request. Significant items included multi-million-dollar requests for a new FSM Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as the construction of a new structure for the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs and the Department of Education. Regarding the former, the current FSM Embassy in Washington, D.C., is classified as a historic building, and so altering it to meet the expanding needs of the Nation ranges from difficult to impossible; regarding the latter, there is a deep recognition amongst the Executive Branch that the Department of Health & Social Affairs needs expanded offices, that the Department of Education needs a structure dedicated to its functionality, and that its current state of inhabiting the residence developed for the Vice President of the FSM is unsustainable.

 

Another item in the President’s supplemental budget request is the proposed reinstatement of a significant portion of pre-COVID-Pandemic travel funding for each of the Government’s departments, agencies, and offices. In this regard, reinstating this funding is essential on the premise that certain types of official travel funding—such as the Department of Justice’s Litigation Division, or the Department of Foreign Affair’s Office of the Secretary—are unavoidable if the intention is for the Executive Branch to successfully execute its mandate e.g. in litigating cases or in representing the FSM at a high-level in bilateral and multilateral settings with the Nation’s friends, allies, and development partners.

 

One item not included in the President’s supplemental budget request was funding for the $6,000,000 owed from the FSM to Pacific International, Inc. (PII). The President advised the Congress that it is his hope that the funding be appropriated in three instances of $2,000,000 each, for the months of January, May, and September, in part on the premise that there will be no pre or post judgment interest on the amount, and in part so that the funding disseminated will be in the line with the proposed Civil Liabilities Fund (Congressional Bill 22-245), which is proposed legislation that will not only serve how the Government addresses the PII liability but any potential future liabilities as well.

 

The meeting ended on a positive note, with the Committee to Wait on the President describing their appreciation for the President’s briefings and describing that Congress has much it intends to accomplish during this 10-day Special Session.

Boards of FSMTC & OAE Advise President Panuelo Their Support of the East Micronesia Cable Project Funded by Australia, Japan, & the United States; “You Have FSMTC’s Full Support on the EMC Cable Project & We Will Not Deny Access to the HANTRU-1 in Any Way

FSM Information Services

Press Release

Boards of FSMTC & OAE Advise President Panuelo Their Support of the East Micronesia Cable Project Funded by Australia, Japan, & the United States; “You Have FSMTC’s Full Support on the EMC Cable Project & We Will Not Deny Access to the HANTRU-1 in Any Way”

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—Recently, His Excellency David W. Panuelo—President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—virtually received the Board of Directors of both the FSM Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) and the FSM Telecommunications Cable Corporation, frequently referred to as the Open Access Entity (OAE). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with the Boards the FSM Government’s position regarding the importance of the East Micronesia Cable (EMC) Project funded by the Governments of Australia, Japan, and the United States of America that, when completed, would see secure, stable, and highly efficient internet access in the State of Kosrae, the Republic of Nauru, and the Republic of Kiribati. The primary outcome of the meeting was the full assurance of both the Board of Directors of FSMTC, and the Board of Directors for the OAE, that there will not be any denial of access to the HANTRU-1 fiber optic cable.

 

The meeting began with President Panuelo briefing the two Boards of Directors on the EMC Project, including its importance to the FSM’s national security, and how the ongoing FSM Supreme Court Case 2021-010 (FSMTC vs OAE) presents risks to the FSM’s connectivity, security, and diplomacy efforts. The President’s 20-minute briefing was consistent with a Press Release on the same topic, and readers unfamiliar with the extensive background and context to this meeting are encouraged to read that release in full here: https://gov.fm/index.php/component/content/article/35-pio-articles/news-and-updates/675-though-fsm-supreme-court-confirms-iru-deed-between-fsmtc-oae-is-legally-valid-enforceable-fsm-still-faces-connectivity-security-diplomacy-challenges?Itemid=177

 

During the meeting, the Chair of the FSMTC Board, Leonard Isotoff, said “FSMTC’s position has always been aligned with the [FSM] National Government and we maintain that we want to see fiber optics to all [of the FSM’s] States…so the grant funding is welcome and will benefit everybody. I can commit to you, on this call, and as discussed with the team…that you have FSMTC’s full support on the EMC Cable Project, and we will not deny access to the HANTRU-1 in any way. So you have the full support of the FSMTC Board and Management Team…. We support the EMC Project in its current form, and we agree that it’s an opportunity that we cannot miss.”

 

Chair of the OAE Board, Redley Killion, said “The [EMC] Project is very important—our OAE Board treasures that very much and we appreciate the efforts to resolve this so that nothing stands in the way of moving forward on that very important project, so we can bring our remaining State of Kosrae to being connected…. We have instructed our management staff and our attorney to work with FSMTC and the [FSM] Attorney General to come up with whatever is appropriate to resolve this issue, the [FSM Supreme Court] case…something has to be worked out in writing, and we are ready to move on that.”

 

Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communications, & Infrastructure, T.H. Carlson D. Apis, said “What is important [from this meeting] is the strong support from FSMTC and the OAE regarding the EMC so that we can move forward with the donors to progress it further forward. We all agree that the FSMTC and OAE will benefit from this cable.”

 

It is the understanding of the FSM National Government that both FSMTC and the OAE have committed to resolving their legal disputes with one another, including the dispute as it relates to the EMC Project and the ownership and use of the HANTRU-1 cable. With such a resolution and on-the-record commentary from the two Boards of Directors, the FSM Government has relayed to the Governments of Australia, Japan, and the United States of America that the EMC Project that will connect Kosrae, Nauru, and Tarawa with the existing HANTRU-1 cable in Pohnpei can move forward without further delay or hindrance.

Vice President Aren B. Palik Heads Delegation of the Federated States of Micronesia to the Thematic Session of the 12th Conference of Leaders (C12) of the Pacific Community

FSM Information Services

Press Release

 

Vice President Aren B. Palik Heads Delegation of the Federated States of Micronesia to the Thematic Session of the 12th Conference of Leaders (C12) of the Pacific Community

 

PALIKIR, Pohnpei—From the week of November 21st to 25th, 2022, the Honorable Aren B. Palik—Vice President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM)—engaged in a series of meetings and events in the Republic of Vanuatu, including representing the FSM in the Thematic Session of the 12th Conference of Leaders (C12) of the Pacific Community, a member of the Council of Regional Organizations of the Pacific (CROP) currently celebrating its 75th anniversary.

 

Amongst the issues of importance to FSM regarding the Pacific Community, there were discussions such as an initiative for an independent institutional review of the organization taking into consideration changing dynamics of the region. Additionally, there were updates on ongoing efforts to establish a Polynesia Regional Office which, when established, will see each of the three sub-regions of the Pacific represented equitably, as well as the Pacific Community’s Strategic Plan to govern the work of the Secretariat from 2022 to 2031.

 

While in Vanuatu, Vice President Palik undertook a variety of engagements with the Nation’s friends, allies, and development partners.

 

One such engagement included a bilateral with Her Excellency Mary Seet-Cheng, Ambassador of Singapore to the Pacific Islands Forum. During the meeting, the Vice President and the Ambassador discussed respective national development challenges, as well as mutual support for more integrated bilateral cooperation on training opportunities for human capacity-building. Previous engagements with Singapore during the Panuelo-Palik administration have included requests from the FSM for Singapore to consider assistance in vocational education curricula design and/or review. The meeting concluded on a positive note, with the Ambassador describing her intention to visit the FSM during the latter part of 2023.

 

 

On another engagement, Vice President Palik met with the Pacific Community’s Director General, Stuart Minchin, and other senior management of the organization. The Vice President highlighted the FSM’s appreciation for the presence of the Pacific Community’s Micronesia Regional Office in Pohnpei and the Nation’s interests for program expansion, and consideration of the Pacific Community’s assistance and support for the FSM’s development of a new Strategic Development Plan.

 

 

 

Another fruitful engagement was a meeting between Vice President Palik and the Honorable Henry Puna, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Vice President and the Secretary-General discussed the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, as well as the recently concluded 27th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Regarding the latter, it is the view of the FSM Government that while the development of a Loss & Damage Fund is a significant accomplishment, the Government remains concerned about tipping points, such as the heating of the Amazon and its transformation from a carbon sink to a carbon source.

 

On another special occasion, Vice President Palik met with students of the FSM who are currently studying in Vanuatu’s Emalus School of Law. The Vice President shared key activities and events with the students, and encouraged them to finish their education and then to come back and contribute to the FSM’s nation-building process.

 

Vice President Palik also met with the Honorable Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister Delegate of Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships of the French Republic. The Vice President conveyed the FSM’s appreciation for technical support provided to the Nation which, among others, included the successful inscription of Nan Madol as a United Nations Educational, Scientific, & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. With mutual interest in cultural and historic preservation, the Vice President and the Minister Delegate discussed the FSM’s interest to realize a National Historical Museum. Additionally, the Minister Delegate conveyed France’s interest to co-host the 2025 United Nations Ocean’s Conference with Costa Rica. In this regard, and in tackling Climate Change more broadly, the Vice President conveyed gratitude to France for their leadership role in regional and international fora.

 

Joining Vice President Palik to Vanuatu included the Honorable McGarry Miguel, Vice Speaker of the Pohnpei State Legislature; the Honorable Ricky F. Cantero, Deputy Secretary of the FSM Department of Foreign Affairs; Charge’d’ Affaires Wilson Waguk, of the FSM Embassy in Fiji; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Pacific Affairs, Kenmore Salvador; and Executive Officer Francisco Celestine of Pohnpei State Environmental Protection Agency.

FSM GOVERNMENT

P.O. BOX PS53
Palikir, Pohnpei State, FM 96941
Phone: (691) 320-2228
Fax: (691) 320-2785

 

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