FSMC, TITLE 9.  NATIONAL ELECTIONS
 
 
Chapter 2:  Candidates

201.     Qualifications of Senators.
202.     Nomination by petition.
203.     Congress as sole judge of its Members.
204.     Convening, organization, elections of President and Vice President.

      201.  Qualifications of Senators.
     To be eligible for election as a Member of the Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia, a person shall:

     (1)     have attained the age of 30 years on the day of the election;

     (2)     be a resident for at least five years of the State from which he is elected;

     (3)     be a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia for at least 15 years.  For the purpose of this subsection, and as provided by article III, section 1, of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia is a person who has been a citizen of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands immediately prior to the effective date of the Constitution and a domiciliary of a State or district ratifying the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia;

     (4)     not be under a judgment of mental incompetency or insanity; and

     (5)     not have been convicted of a felony by a State or National Court of the Federated States of Micronesia or its predecessor Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

Source:  PL 2-73 201.

Cross-reference:  FSM Const., art. IX, 9.

Case annotations:  While the Constitution makes ineligible for election to Congress persons convicted of felonies in FSM courts, the Constitution gives to Congress the power to modify that ineligibility by statute.  Robert v. Mori, 6 FSM Intrm. 394, 398 (App. 1994).

Congress has Constitutional power to prescribe, by statute, additional qualifications for eligibility for election to Congress beyond those found in Constitution.  Such additional qualifications must be consistent with the rest of the Constitution.  Knowledge of English may not be a qualification.  Robert v. Mori, 6 FSM Intrm. 394, 399 (App. 1994).

Congress, not the FSM Supreme Court, has the constitutional power to make persons granted a pardon of a felony conviction eligible for election to Congress.  The court cannot exercise a power reserved to Congress.  Robert v. Mori, 6 FSM Intrm. 394, 401 (App. 1994).

      202.  Nomination by petition.
     Nomination of candidates shall be made by petition initiated by a candidate; provided, that said nomination petition shall specify whether the candidate is seeking a four-year or a two-year term of membership of the Congress.  The name of any candidate for election shall be printed on an official ballot to be used for choosing candidates only if, at least 90 days prior to such election, a nomination paper shall have been filed in the office of the national election commissioner of the State concerned and signed by at least 25 qualified voters of the State or single-member congressional district wherein he seeks election, as the case may be.  There shall be deposited with the nomination paper a filing fee of $25, which shall be paid over to the General Fund of the Federated States of Micronesia as a local revenue available for appropriation by the Congress.  Any person who is elected as a write-in candidate shall, after certification of the election results, pay a $100.00 fee.  The national election commissioner of the State concerned shall, upon receipt of the nomination paper, endorse thereon the day, hour, and minute that such nomination paper is received.

Source:  PL 2-73 203; amended by PL 5-70 3; renumbered by PL 5-103 3; amended by PL 11-62, 1.

      203.  Congress as sole judge of its Members.
     The Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia shall be the sole judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its Members; provided however, that in case of a tie vote at the election, the winner shall be determined in a runoff election between the candidates so tied.  Runoff elections shall occur no later than 30 days after the results of the general election have been announced.

Source:  PL 2-73 204; renumbered by PL 5-103 3.

Cross-reference:  FSM Const., art. IX,   17(a).

Case annotations:  Where there is in the Constitution a textually demonstrable commitment of the issue to a coordinate branch of government, such as Congress being the sole judge of the elections of its members, it is a nonjusticiable political question not to be decided by the court because of the separation of powers provided for in the Constitution.  Aten v. National Election Commr (III), 6 FSM Intrm. 143, 145 (App. 1993).

While the court has statutory authority to hear appeals regarding the conduct of elections, its power to grant relief is limited to ordering a recount or a revote.  Only Congress can decide who is to be seated and once it has seated a member unconditionally the matter is nonjusticiable.  Aten v. National Election Commr (III), 6 FSM Intrm. 143, 145 & n.1 (App. 1993).

      204.  Convening, organization, elections of President and Vice President.
     A newly elected Congress shall convene on the date its Members commence their terms of office and be organized no later than the fourth day immediately following the convening day.  The President and Vice President may be elected only after the Congress is fully organized.  To be eligible for the office of the President and Vice President, a Member must hold office for a four-year term and shall also have been a resident for at least 15 years and a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia by birth.  For the purpose of this section, and as provided by article III, section 2, of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia, a citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia by birth is a person one or both of whose parents have been citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands immediately preceding the effective date of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia and domiciliaries of one of the States or districts that ratified the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia.

Source:  PL 2-73 205; amended and renumbered by PL 5-103 1.

Cross-reference:  The statutory provisions on Citizenship are found in title 7 of this code.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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