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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i


News Release

FSM Congress
Palikir, Pohnpei, FSM

May 13, 2013

FSM Congress Reshuffles Leadership: Halbert New Speaker

The opening session of the 18th Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia convened here on Saturday and reshuffled the leadership of the national legislative body.

Sen. Dohsis Halbert of Pohnpei is the new speaker with Sen. Paliknoa K. Welly of Kosrae as the new vice speaker. Florencio Singkoro Harper of Chuuk will remain the floor leader.The chairmen of the seven congressional committees are:

  • Sen. Isaac V. Figir, Ways and Means;
  • Sen. David W. Panuelo, Resources and Development;
  • Sen. Joseph J. Urusemal, Education;
  • Sen. Wesley W. Simina, Judiciary and Governmental Operations;
  • Sen. Yosiwo P. George, External Affairs.
  • Sen. Peter M. Christian, Transportation and Communications; and
  • Sen. Tony H. Otto, Health and Social Affairs.

FSM Supreme Court Chief Justice Martin G. Yinug administered the oath of office to members of the 18th FSM the Congress in a chamber crowed with state and national leaders, including Gov. John Ehsa of Pohnpei and traditional leader Nahnmwarki of Sokes, Herculano Kohler.

Senior pastor and the first speaker of the FSM Congress, the Reverend Bethwel, Henry offered the invocation.

The national anthem was beautifully sung by the Panuelo Trio: Jenna Deena on vocals accompanied by Alex and Michael on instruments. They are the children of Sen. David W. Panuelo.

Those who were not in the Congress chamber were able to tune in to the local radio stations for the day’s proceedings via a live-broadcast through the FSM Telecommunications Corp.

The first regular session of the 18th FSM Congress is expected to last for 20 days, unless shortened or extended by resolution. Pursuant to the FSM Constitution, a session of Congress is a two-year cycle therefore the 18th Congress will be from May 11, 2013 through May 10, 2015.

Following the formalities and run through of the order of business, the first session of the 18th FSM Congress recessed until Monday, May 13.


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