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Micronesia [FSM] - Politics

In absence of political parties, all candidates stand as independents in Micronesia and campaigning usually focuses on local issues.

Following the March 2007 elections the Congress re-elected Mr. Isaac V. Figir as Speaker. It also elected Mr. Manny Mori as the country's new President and Mr. Alik L. Alik as Vice-President. President Mori pledged to enhance the government's efficiency by cutting down on "bureaucratic red tape that hinders economic growth". He subsequently established three new offices to avoid duplication between related functions. Speaker Figir was re-elected again in March 2009. In October 2008 the Congress passed two constitutional amendments: one extending the term of all members of Congress from two to four years (Public Law 15-60) and the other allowing dual citizenship (15-61). A constitutional referendum on these laws was held in parallel with the 2011 elections.

In the election held on 11 May 2011 Peter M. CHRISTIAN was elected president by Congress; Yosiwo P. GEORGE was elected vice president. In all 34 candidates were running in the 08 March 2011 election, eight of whom were vying for the four at-large seats. For the first time in the country's history two women were also vying for seats in the Congress. Both were running in the state of Chuuk: one for the at-large seat against incumbent President Mori and the other for a two-year seat in the same constituency as Mr. Joe N. Suka the incumbent Floor Leader of the Congress.

President Mori ran on the government's record. He promised to attract more foreign investment to develop fishing ventures thereby creating jobs and generating income. He underscored the need to enhance communication between the islands and to the outside world by connecting all the states by fiber optic cable. He pledged to give top priority to education providing financial assistance for post-graduate education streamlining vocational education to form a skilled labour force that would be employable even outside the country. He called on voters in Chuuk to return him to Congress so he could pursue his policies in a second term as President. On 11 May the newly elected Congress held its first session and re-elected Mr. Figir as its Speaker. On the same day the Congress re-elected Mr. Mori as the country's President and Mr. Alik as Vice-President.

The 05 March 2013 mid-term elections were held to renew 10 seats in the 14-member Congress for a two-year term. Since there are no political parties in Micronesia, all candidates stood as independents and campaigned on local issues. Three outgoing members, including Speaker Isaac V. Figir, were re-elected unopposed. The sole woman candidate was defeated by an incumbent member.

The 2015 elections largely returned the members of the outgoing legislature. All four "at-large" senators (see note 1) were re-elected, along with former Speaker Isaac V. Figir, who was re-elected unopposed. The long-serving member and outgoing Speaker, Mr. Dohsis Halbert, did not run in 2015. As in previous elections, there were no women candidates. In May, Mr. Peter M. Christian from Pohnpei state was elected as the country's new President, replacing Mr. Emmanuel (Manny) Mori from Chuuk state, who had held the presidency since 2007.

The 07 March 2017 mid-term elections resulted in a similar composition of the 14-member Congress. Outgoing members took eight of the 10 seats up for renewal in 2017. No women were elected, as in the previous elections. However, there were two female candidates in 2017, unlike the 2015 elections where there were none. National issues in 2017 included the constitutional referendum on dual citizenship, which was held in parallel with the parliamentary elections, and the Compact of Free Association (COFA) with the United States of America, on which a parliamentary resolution was introduced in December 2015.

The constitutional amendment was intended to permit Micronesians to hold dual citizenship. However the proposal failed to secure the required threshold, of three-quarters of votes cast in three of the country's four states. Since independence in 1986, Micronesia has been in free association with the United States of America based on COFA, whereby the United States funds the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) through an annual subsidy. In December 2015, the FSM Congress introduced a resolution signifying the intent to end the COFA in 2018. However, the resolution had not been adopted by the FSM Congress at the time of the 2017 elections.

On March 5, 2019 the citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia voted for their elected representatives in the Congress of the FSM. Comprised of 14 senators elected to either a four-year (at-large) or two-year term, the unicameral body, also known as the FSM legislative branch, is primarily responsible for enacting the nations laws. On March 8, 2019 the FSM National Election Office published the certified results of the FSM 2019 national election. Under FSM law, national elections use the first past the post rules, i.e. whoever has the most votes wins. The president and vice president are elected by the Congress from among the four at-large senators. Vacant seats as a result of presidential and vice presidential elections are then reopened for a special election.

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