FSM president lose seat to House speaker

The election for president in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) saw incumbent president Peter Christian (oictured) being edged out by his challenger, David Panuelo. Picture: PNC News First

PHONPEI, 12 MARCH 2019 (ISLAND TIMES/PACNEWS/FSMIS) – The election for president in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) saw incumbent president Peter Christian being edged out by his challenger, David Panuelo.

According to official election results of last Tuesday’s elections, Panuelo received 6,775 votes against Christian’s 6,716.

Panuelo is speaker of FSM Congress, while Christian was elected president in 2015. FSM presidents serves a four-year term.

FSM voters also cast their votes for members of the 14-man parliament and a referendum calling a Constitutional Convention.

Thirty candidates from across the nation ran for the 21st Congress.

Comprised of 14 senators elected to either a four-year (at-large) or two-year term, the unicameral body, also known as the FSM legislative branch, is primarily responsible for enacting the nation’s laws.

On March 8, 2019 the FSM National Election Office published the certified results of the FSM 2019 national election.

Under FSM law, national elections use the “first past the post” rules, i.e. whoever has the most votes wins. The president and vice president are elected by the Congress from among the four at-large senators. Vacant seats as a result of presidential and vice presidential elections are then reopened for a special election.

The 2019 election results data to follow is certified from the FSM National Election Office, presented to the FSM Office of the President on March 8, 2019.

Kosrae State has two senators in the Congress. For the four-year at-large seat, Vice President Yosiwo P. George received 1,824 votes while challenger Aren B. Palik received 1,814 votes.

For the two-year seat, the incumbent Paliknoa K. Welly received 2,130 votes while challenger Johnson A. Asher received 1,491 votes.

Pohnpei State has four senators in the Congress. For the four-year at-large seat, President Peter M. Christian received 6,716 votes while the incumbent, David W. Panuelo, received 6,775 votes.

For Pohnpei Election District One, representing Kolonia, Sokehs, Sapwuahfik, Nukuoro, and Kapingamarangi, the incumbent Ferny Perman received 2,396 votes while challenger Dr. Merlynn Abello-Alfonso received 2,136 votes.

For Pohnpei Election District Two, representing Madolenihmw and Kitti — which had four candidates — the incumbent Dion G. Neth received 2,054 votes, while challengers Berney Martin, Herman Semes Jr., and Quincy Lawrence received 1,082 votes, 984 votes, and 942 votes respectively.

For Pohnpei Election District Three, representing Nett, U, Mwoakilloa, and Pingelap, the incumbent Esmond B. Moses received 2,543 votes while challenger Marstella Jack received 1,155 votes.

Chuuk State has six senators in the Congress. For the four-year at-large seat, the incumbent  Wesley W. Simina received 15,941 votes while challenger Eriano E. Eram received 3,356 votes.

For Chuuk Election District One, representing the Mortlock Islands, the incumbent Florencio S. Harper ran unopposed; he received 2,727 votes.

For Chuuk Election District Two, representing Weno, the incumbent Victor Gouland ran unopposed; he received 1,787 votes.

For Chuuk Election District Three, representing Tonoas, Uman, Fefan, Parem, and Tsis, the incumbent Derensio S. Konman received 4,599 votes while challenger Eflove F. Mailos received 2,256 votes.

For Chuuk Election District Four, representing Tol, Fanapanges, Eot, Patta, Polle Romalum, Udot, and Wonei, the incumbent Tiwiter Aritos received 4,938 votes while challengers Smith K. Paulus and Manuel Rawit received 245 and 555 votes respectively.

For Chuuk Election District Five, representing the Halls & Western Islands, and Namonuito — which had five candidates running — the incumbent Robson U. Romolow received 1,083 votes, while challengers Arisao Aichem, Joseph Konnor Jr., Dr. Vidalino J. Raatior, and Zander Refilong received 353, 182, 684, and 461 votes respectively.

Yap State has two senators in the FSM Congress. For the at-large seat, the incumbent Joseph. J Urusemal ran unopposed; he received 2,371 votes. For the two-year seat, the incumbent Isaac V. Figir received 2,225 votes while challenger Fidelis Thiyer-Fanoway received 244 votes.

In addition to the voting of the FSM’s elected representatives, all voters were asked to voice their opinion on whether or not the FSM should hold a Constitutional Convention. Under FSM law, every ten years this referendum reappears and 75 percent of the population in 75 percent of the FSM states must consent for such a convention to occur.

In Kosrae State, 1,476 voters said yes to a Constitutional Convention and 480 voters said no; in Pohnpei State 5,948 voters said yes to a Constitutional Convention and 2,790 voters said no; in Chuuk State 1,283 voters said yes to a Constitutional Convention and 1,656 voters said no; and in Yap State, 1,064 voters said yes to a Constitutional Convention and 1,262 voters said no.

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