Friday, May 11, 2007

Witnessing Democracy in Action

This morning I went to the National Capital Complex in Palikir and witnessed the election of the nation’s brand-new President!

In the FSM, people elect a 14-person Senate and the Senators elect a president out of their own ranks.

All of the decision making is done before-hand, but nobody knows their decision until they sit in the chamber and vote.

I sat in the chamber and watched it all unfold. I sat right behind all of the ambassadors who were sitting behind all the nanmwarkis (high chiefs).

The new President of the Federated States of Micronesia is the former Chuukese Senator Manny Mori.

The outgoing President Urusemal gave quite a touching speech. He wanted to be President for another term of four years, but it didn’t work out. He will return to being a Senator.

Urusemal is so kind and gracious and has demonstrated his support for culture and the arts. After the 2006 Holiday Concert he even wrote an official proclamation of thanks to me and the other teachers who organized it.

I hope the new President is so supportive and encouraging.


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