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  • Writer's pictureBy Joyce McClure

Yap Gov. Falan removed from office

Henry Falan

The Yap State Legislature got the eight votes needed to remove Gov. Henry Falan from office during their third regular session on Dec. 16.

The vote came two months after a failed vote was taken on Oct. 19 in which seven legislators voted for and three against the resolution seeking Falan's removal from office for misfeasance and malfeasance

Sen. Joseph B. Tiuchemal, one of three who voted against the resolution, cast the swing vote on Thursday by switching to "yes." Sens. Theodore Rutun and Nicholas Figirlaarwon stood by their original vote of “no."

By law, 75 percent is required to pass a vote, or eight out of the 10 members.

Nearly two hours into the 10th Legislature’s regular session, the motion to reconsider was presented and approved.

"We should be discussing things in order to move forward when things are not working well. We have to come together and discuss things. It’s rooted in our customs and tradition. But it seems we neglect that part of our upbringing," Figirlaarwon said.

"That’s what the people want us to do-- work together, talk to each other.

But it seems we don’t want to talk," he added.

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Figirlaarwon noted the committee's failure to act on a bill that proposed to raise the salary of the attorney general. "I’m hoping we meet and discuss this before we rock the boat one more time because we’re here to solve the problem," he added.

Figirlaarwon reminded his colleagues of their responsibilities as elected leaders. “We’re not voted to sit on this chair to create more problems or put fuel to the problem," he said. "We adopted our laws from the U.S. but we have to deal with it in the Yapese way of doing things.”

Speaker Figir responded, “We are here to uphold the constitution and if that has been broken, it’s our responsibility to deal with it the way we were mandated.”

The resolution passed after 13 minutes of discussion.

The impeachment resolution was introduced in September on the heels of the governor's move to temporarily shut down the Attorney General’s Office due to the legislature’s refusal to approve the salaries of the two attorneys general.

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