FSM Speaker Figir proposes reserved seats for women in FSM Constitution

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27 AUGUST 2012 POHNPEI (MARIANAS VARIETY) --- Speaker Isaac V. Figir of the 17th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia has authored three legislative measures to explore alternatives for the future of the nation.

The first is a revision of a bill introduced during the 16th Congress to create four additional seats for women in the FSM Congress.

Congressional Bill 17-147, proposes to amend the Constitution to guarantee the representation of women in Congress by creating four additional at-large seats for eligible women candidates.

Figir has revised the bill to install a temporary special measure provision to guarantee seats for women candidates for a period of 20 years.

As a proposed amendment to the Constitution, upon passage, the measure will be placed on a referendum for the people to decide.

In anticipation of the termination of the financial provisions of the Amended Compact of Free Association between the FSM and the United States of America, Congressional Bill 17-148, calls for the establishment of a Joint Committee on the Future of the Nation and its Secretariat to explore alternatives for the nation’s future.

The composition of the proposed body will mirror that of the former Joint Committee on Compact Economic Negotiation with nine members: one representative from each state, four representatives from Congress — one from each delegation and the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs as a member ex officio.

And finally, Congressional Bill 17-150 proposes an amendment to the Constitution to allow that “in the event of a financial crisis that a state is unable to control,” such state may temporarily delegate any powers assigned to it under the Constitution to the national government. Upon becoming law, the measure like the previous amendment to the Constitution, it too will be placed on a referendum for the people to decide.

Figir’s proposals are ready for introduction in the next session of Congress on 12 September, 2012.