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Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments. by Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments Committee (PECAC) for March 8, 2011 Election. PECAC Task Force Members. Dr. Rufino Mauricio – Chairman (PNI) Samari Suta - Vice Chairman (CHK)

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public education on proposed constitutional amendments

Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments

by

Public Education on Proposed Constitutional Amendments Committee (PECAC)

for

March 8, 2011 Election

pecac task force members
PECAC Task Force Members
  • Dr. Rufino Mauricio – Chairman (PNI)
  • SamariSuta - Vice Chairman (CHK)
  • ArthyNena -Treasurer (KOS)
  • Jesse Giltmag -Secretary (YAP)
  • Arthur Albert -Member (KOS)
  • DionisSaimon -Member (PNI)
  • KandhiElieisar -Member (CHK)
  • Mathew Chigiyal -Member (YAP)

Part 1

outline of presentation
OUTLINE OF PRESENTATION

FOUR (4) MAIN PARTS:

  • Introduce the mission/mandate of the Task Force
    • Guiding Principles in the Conduct of Public Education on Proposed Amendments
  • Provide a brief description of the process of amending the FSM Constitution and the requirement for a proposed amendment to pass;
  • 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;
  • Sample Ballots
part i guiding principle in conducting public education
PART IGuiding 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

how to amend change the fsm constitution

How to AMEND/CHANGE the FSM Constitution?

There are 2 PROCESSES INVOLVED in amending the constitution:

PROPOSAL

RATIFICATION (Approval)

PART II

proposal how to make proposed amendments to the fsm constitution

PROPOSAL How to make proposed amendments to the FSM Constitution

ARTICLE XIV (14)

Amendments

     Section 1.  An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by a constitutional convention, popular initiative, or Congress in a manner provided by law. A proposed amendment shall become a part of the Constitution when approved by 3/4 of the votes cast on that amendment in each of 3/4 of the states. If conflicting constitutional amendments submitted to the voters at the same election are approved, the amendment receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.

PART II

proposed amendments to the constitution explanatory notes

Proposed amendments to the Constitution – Explanatory Notes

“…amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by a constitutional convention, popular initiative, or Congress in a manner provided by law …”

Proposed amendments can be done in three ways:

Constitutional convention process

Popular Initiative (Public Petition)

Congress **

PART II

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

Part II

approval requirements for proposed amendments

Approval Requirements for Proposed Amendments

ARTICLE XIV

Amendments

     Section 1.  An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed by a constitutional convention, popular initiative, or Congress in a manner provided by law. A proposed amendment shall become a part of the Constitution when approved by 3/4 of the votes cast on that amendment in each of 3/4 of the states. If conflicting constitutional amendments submitted to the voters at the same election are approved, the amendment receiving the highest number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.

PART II

approval requirement explanatory notes

Approval Requirement – Explanatory Notes

“…approved by 3/4 of the votes cast … in each of 3/4 of the states.”

At least three of the FSM states must each have ¾ affirmative votes of votes cast.

If ratify, President Issue a Proclamation within 15 days announcing the approval of an amendment.

Effectiveness is retroactive to DATE of election.

PART II

two 2 proposed amendments

TWO (2) PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

By FSM CONGRESS passing:

Public Law 15-61

Public Law 15-60

PART III

slide14

Proposed Constitutional AMENDMENT 1

REPEAL Section 3 of Article III of the FSM Constitution

DELETESection 3 of Article III of the FSM Constitution

ERASE Section 3 of Article III of the FSM Constitution

Part III

slide15

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.

Part III

slide16

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

Part III

first proposed amendment dual citizenship by pl 15 61

PROPOSES TO REPEAL SECTION 3, ART. III OF THE CONSTITUTION AS FOLLOWS:

First Proposed Amendment – Dual Citizenship (by PL 15-61)

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 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. (Amended by PL No. 15-61)

     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.

PART III

legal interpretation repeal section 3 of article iii

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

slide19

Second Proposed Amendment

  • by Public Law 15-60
  • Two Parts:
        • Section 1 – Congressional Term
        • Section 2 – Eligibility for Presidency

PART III

first part term of congress members section 1 of pl 15 60

Proposes to amend SECTION 8, ARTICLE IX of the CONSTITUTION as follows:

FIRST PART – TERM of Congress Members(Section 1 of PL 15-60)

ARTICLE IX

Legislative

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 elected on the basis of state equality serve for a 4-year term, and all other members for 2 years.  Each member has one vote, except on the final reading of bills. Congressional elections are held biennially as provided by statute. (Amended by PL No. 15-60 Section 1)

PART III

legal interpretation making 2 year term congress members 4 year term amend section 8 of article ix

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

second part eligibility for presidency section 2 of pl 15 60
SECOND PART – Eligibility for Presidency (Section 2 of PL 15-60)

ARTICLE X

Executive

Section 4.  A person is ineligible to become President unless he is a member of Congress for a 4-year term 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. (Amended by PL No. 15-60 Section 2)

Proposes to amend SECTION 4, ARTICLE X of the CONSTITUTION as follows:

PART III

legal interpretation eligible congress members for president amend section 4 of article x

Legal Interpretation – Eligible Congress Members for PresidentAmend 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

effective date
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

part iv the ballot

PART IVTHE BALLOT

SAMPLE OF WHAT WE WILL SEE ON THE BALLOT COMES MARCH 2011

Part 1

sample ballot fsm

SAMPLE Ballot (FSM)

A.__ AMENDMENT – P.L. NO. 15-60, 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. 15-60 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

ballot fsm

Ballot (FSM)

B.__AMENDMENT – P.L. NO. 15-61, 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. 15-61 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 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.”

Be REPEALED in its entirety.

Do you approve of the proposed amendment to the Constitution:

YES NO

Ballot

important dates
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
additional information
Additional Information

Website: www.fsmpio.fm/pecac.htm

  • Sample Ballot
  • Public laws (PL 15-60 & PL 15-61) on proposed constitutional amendments
  • J&GO Standing Committee Reports
  • Schedule of Events (Public Education)
  • Election materials

Contacts:

    • Chairman, Dr. Rufino Mauricio

Email address: fsmunesco@mail.fm

Part 1

slide30

FINAL PART

SHARE AND DISCUSS YOUR IDEAS

discussion dual citizenship
DISCUSSION – dual citizenship

Congress Standing Committee Report No. 15-145 articulates the following:

  • Recognize this as 3rd 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

discussion uniform congress 4 year term
DISCUSSION – Uniform Congress 4-year Term

Congress Standing Committee Report No. 15-147 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

pros and cons amendment 1 dual citizenship
Pros and ConsAmendment 1 – Dual citizenship

Pros

Cons

Social Changes

Allegiance & Loyalty

  • 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
pros and cons amendment 2 uniform 4 year term
Pros and ConsAmendment 2 – Uniform 4-year Term

Pros

Cons

Short-term Projects (from 2 to 4 years)

Ineffective leaders remain in Office for 4-years

Lack of check-and-balance

  • 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)
dual citizenship

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