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Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments by Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments Committee (PECAC) for March 8, 2011 Election.

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Presentation on theme: "Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments by Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments Committee (PECAC) for March 8, 2011 Election."— Presentation transcript:

1 Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments by Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments Committee (PECAC) for March 8, 2011 Election

2 PECAC Task Force Members 1.Dr. Rufino Mauricio – Chairman (PNI) 2.Samari Suta- Vice Chairman (CHK) 3.Arthy Nena-Treasurer (KOS) 4.Jesse Giltmag-Secretary (YAP) 5.Arthur Albert-Member (KOS) 6.Dionis Saimon-Member (PNI) 7.Kandhi Elieisar-Member (CHK) 8.Mathew Chigiyal-Member (YAP) Part 1

3 OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION 1.Introduce the mission/mandate of the Task Force Guiding Principles in the Conduct of Public Education on Proposed Amendments 2. Provide a brief description of the process of amending the FSM Constitution and the requirement for a proposed amendment to pass; 3.Introduce/describe the Proposed Amendments: – Introduce the public laws that introduce each of the proposed amendments; – Show the relevant Sections of the Constitution being proposed to be amended; – Provide an interpretation of each of the proposed amendments; 4.Sample Ballots FOUR (4) MAIN PARTS:

4 PART I Guiding Principle in Conducting Public Education To guide educators: – Public Education must be in accordance with the Rule of Statutory Construction or “Plain Meaning Rule” - the Statutory Text; – Explain what the text of the law states; PART I

5 PART II THE PROCESS OF AMENDING/CHANGING the FSM Constitution? PART II

6 How to AMEND/CHANGE the FSM Constitution? There are 2 PROCESSES INVOLVED in amending the constitution: 1.PROPOSAL 2.RATIFICATION (Approval) PART II

7 PROPOSAL How to make proposed amendments to the FSM Constitution PART II

8 Proposed amendments to the Constitution – Explanatory Notes PART II

9 RATIFICATION PROPOSALS are submitted to the people to vote - YES or NO As in March 8, 2011 General Election. Part II

10 Approval Requirements for Proposed Amendments PART II

11 Approval Requirement – Explanatory Notes PART II

12 PART III: AMENDMENTS PART III

13 TWO (2) PROPOSED AMENDMENTS By FSM CONGRESS passing: 1.Public Law Public Law PART III

14 Part III Proposed Constitutional AMENDMENT 1 REPEAL Section 3 of Article III of the FSM Constitution DELETE Section 3 of Article III of the FSM Constitution ERASE Section 3 of Article III of the FSM Constitution

15 Part III Existing TEXT of Article III, Section 3 of FSM Constitution ARTICLE III Citizenship Section 1. A person who is a citizen of the Trust Territory immediately prior to the effective date of this Constitution and a domiciliary of a District ratifying this Constitution is a citizen and national of the Federated States of Micronesia. Section 2. A person born of parents one or both of whom are citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia is a citizen and national of the Federated States by birth. Section 3. A citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia who is recognized as a citizen of another nation shall, within 3 years of his 18th birthday, or within 3 years of the effective date of this Constitution, whichever is later, register his intent to remain a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia and renounce his citizenship of another nation. If he fails to comply with this Section, he becomes a national of the Federated States of Micronesia. Section 4. A citizen of the Trust Territory who becomes a national of the United States of America under the terms of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may become a citizen and national of the Federated States of Micronesia by applying to a court of competent jurisdiction in the Federated States within 6 months of the date he became a United States national.

16 Part III NOTES ON EXISTING TEXT: Currently, dual citizenship is allowed for persons between age 0 – 18/<21; At age 18, one has to register within 3 years his/her intend of his/her citizenship; If one fails to register he/she becomes a NATIONAL therefore No right to vote; Can’t run for public office Can’t own lands in FSM

17 First Proposed Amendment – Dual Citizenship (by PL 15-61) P ROPOSES TO REPEAL SECTION 3, ART. III OF THE CONSTITUTION AS FOLLOWS: PART III

18 Legal Interpretation – Repeal Section 3 of Article III  Proposed Amendment removes the requirement for one to “…Register his/her Intend…”;  In so doing, it allows for a person to have DUAL/MULTIPLE CITIZENSHIP. PART III

19 Second Proposed Amendment by Public Law Two Parts: 1.Section 1 – Congressional Term 2.Section 2 – Eligibility for Presidency PART III

20 FIRST PART – TERM of Congress Members (Section 1 of PL 15-60) Proposes to amend SECTION 8, ARTICLE IX of the CONSTITUTION as follows: PART III

21 Legal Interpretation – Making 2-year term congress members 4-year term (Amend Section 8 of Article IX) Makes the TERM of ALL MEMBERS of FSM Congress a 4-year; Consequently, it also removes the requirement for election to be held every 2 years - but to be held as provided by law; PART III

22 SECOND PART – Eligibility for Presidency (Section 2 of PL 15-60) Proposes to amend SECTION 4, ARTICLE X of the CONSTITUTION as follows: PART III

23 Legal Interpretation – Eligible Congress Members for President Amend Section 4 of Article X It is a Consequential amendment to maintain status quo (or existing condition or what is currently defined NOW); It clarifies that only the 4 members elected at large from each State can run for the Office of the FSM President. PART III

24 Effective Date If proposed amendments are approved by the people in March 2011 General Election, the amendments become effective on the Election Day (March 8, 2011). Part 1

25 PART IV THE BALLOT SAMPLE OF WHAT WE WILL SEE ON THE BALLOT COMES MARCH 2011 Part 1

26 SAMPLE Ballot (FSM) A.__ AMENDMENT – P.L. NO , for the purpose of increasing the length of the terms for members of Congress elected from congressional districts in each state based on population to four years. Public Law No proposes that section 8, article IX, and section 4, article X, of the FSM Constitution be amended to read as follows, respectively: “Section 8. The congress consists of one member elected at large from each state on the basis of state equality, and additional members elected from congressional districts in each state apportioned by population. Members serve for a four (4) year term. Each member has one vote, except on the final reading of bills. Congressional elections are held as provided by statute.” “Section 4. A person is ineligible to become President unless he is a member of Congress elected at large from a state on the basis of state equality, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia by birth, and a resident of the Federated States of Micronesia for at least 15 years.” Do you approve of the proposed amendment to the Constitution: YES NO Ballot

27 Ballot (FSM) B.__AMENDMENT – P.L. NO , for the purpose of enabling citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia to retain or obtain citizenship of another state without being required to relinquish citizenship of the Federated States of Micronesia. Public Law No proposes that section 3, article III, of the FSM Constitution which states, to wit: “Section 3. A citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia who is recognized as a citizen of another nation shall, within 3 years of his 18 th birthday, or within 3 years of the effective date of this Constitution, whichever is later, register his intent to remain a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia and renounce his citizenship of another nation. If he fails to comply with this Section, he becomes a national of the Federated States of Micronesia.” Be REPEALED in its entirety. Do you approve of the proposed amendment to the Constitution: YES NO Ballot

28 Important Dates Request to vote at the special polling places must be received by the National Election Commission by February 5, 2011 Last day to send absentee ballots by mail is January 26, 2011 Election Day is March 8, 2011

29 Additional Information Website: Sample Ballot Public laws (PL & PL 15-61) on proposed constitutional amendments J&GO Standing Committee Reports Schedule of Events (Public Education) Election materials Contacts: Chairman, Dr. Rufino Mauricio address: Part 1

30 FINAL PART SHARE AND DISCUSS YOUR IDEAS

31 DISCUSSION – dual citizenship Congress Standing Committee Report No articulates the following: Recognize this as 3 rd attempt; However, at public hearings witnesses support the bill (dual citizenship concept); Overall view that Section 3, Art 3: – is inconsistent with the respective states’ customary believe and practices in passing on land to children through customary inheritance; – deprives citizens of opportunities in US military should they elect to retain their FSM citizen; – strips citizens of their right to vote and to hold FSM passports when they give up their FSM citizenship;  Primary concern – relates to the right to own lands – that the existing prohibition protects lands for the benefits of bona fide (genuine) citizens; Committee concludes that prior public education program on prior proposals was not effective in explaining the intent and purpose; Committee suggests that voters be given sufficient opportunities to learn pros and cons of the proposed constitutional amendments; Discussions

32 DISCUSSION – Uniform Congress 4-year Term Congress Standing Committee Report No articulates the following: Intent and purpose of the proposal is..”to increase the length of terms for members of congress elected from congressional districts in each state based on population to four years.” It would not “affect any changes in qualifications or selection of the President and Vice President”; Committee held public hearings and witnesses support the proposal (TC&I, Justice and reps from President’s Office; Removes requirement to hold costly elections – making funds available for other useful purposes; Lessen the frequency of appropriations for small projects; Allow members to devote time on long-term projects; Prolong election – minimize social problems associated with elections; Discussions

33 Pros and Cons Amendment 1 – Dual citizenship Pros Dual citizenship More opportunities Inheritance of land will be intact. Opportunity to rise to restricted military ranks Naturalization Process intact Those of you who have children with dual citizenship now, will not be required to declare when they reach age 18 for a single citizenship Cons Social Changes Allegiance & Loyalty

34 Pros and Cons Amendment 2 – Uniform 4-year Term Pros Less Expense to the Government for Election Less Social Problems due to less frequency of Elections held Extend Service Years (from 2 to 4 years) Cons Short-term Projects (from 2 to 4 years) Ineffective leaders remain in Office for 4-years Lack of check-and-balance

35 DUAL CITIZENSHIP Questions: Children of FSM Nationals? Citizen by Ancestry The proposed Amendment on dual citizenship if approved is NOT Retroactive Therefore, one has to go thru the Naturalization Process Part 1


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