Peter M. Christian eighth FSM President, Wesley W. Simina as Speaker
Press Release #1505-02
Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services
May 12 2015
FSMIS (May 11, 2015): In spite of very challenging weather conditions earlier today, the Nineteenth Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) started its first regular session in Palikir during which the fourteen Senators organized the new leadership of the National Government.
All elected Members to the new assembly were found eligible by the Credential Committee chaired by then Senator-elect David W. Panuelo. As a result, the Members took their oath of office administered by Associate Justice of the FSM Supreme Court, the Honorable Beauleen Carl-Worswick, and went on to elect the Speaker, Vice Speaker and Floor Leader.
Departing from tradition, the 19th Congress elected Wesley W. Simina of Chuuk State to be the Speaker -- the first time a four-year at large Senator would occupy the seat in the young history of the Nation.
Senator Bernie Martin of Pohnpei State regained the Vice Speaker while Senator Florencio Singkoro Harper maintained the Floor Leader post.
The highlight of the meeting focused on the election of the President, which was toward the very end in today's order.
H.E. Peter M. Christian of the State of Pohnpei has become the first to have held the Speakership as a two-year term Senator and later ascend to the Presidency as a Senator At-large. With his election, he is now the eighth President in the 36th year of the FSM.
The Honorable Yosiwo P. George also made history as someone who has been able to hold the offices of a Judge and Governor in his home State of Kosrae; a diplomat for FSM in the role of Permanent Representative to the United Nations as well as Ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011, a Member of the FSM Congress at different terms; and finally his most current public office as the eighth Vice President.
Prior to the election of the two highest offices at the Executive Branch, Speaker Simina appointed the following as Chairman of the various Standing Committees:
Senator Isaac V. Figir: Standing Committee on Ways and Means
Senator Paliknoa K. Welly: Standing Committee on External Affairs
Senator Tiwiter Aritos: Standing Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations
Senator David W. Panuelo: Standing Committee on Resources and Development
Senator Victor Vicky Gouland: Standing Committee on Transportation and Communication
Senator Joseph J. Urusemal: Standing Committee on Education
Senator Bonsiano Fasy Nethon: Standing Committee on Health and Social Affairs
The new President will sit down in first official engagement with Congress tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. when he meets with the "committee to wait on the President" at the President's Office.
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