Palikir, POHNPEI. June 28, 2022 – The 4th Constitutional Convention of the Federated States of Micronesia adjourned sine die at 1:57 p.m. on June 28, 2022 having adopted eight proposed constitutional amendments on dual citizenship, revenue sharing on fishing fees, presidential veto override, revenue sharing of seabed resources, eligibility to run for Congress, jurisdiction of cases where an interest in land is at issue, establishment of a new FSM Office for Independent Prosecutor, and setting a new threshold for amending the FSM Constitution. The adopted proposed amendments are:
Proposal 4-04 would amend Article XIV, Section 1 of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to lower the percentage of votes cast required in each State to adopt amendments to the Constitution from the current three- fourths of the votes required in three-fourths of the States to two-thirds of the votes in three –fourths of the States.
Dual Citizenship Proposal:
Proposal 4-05 would amend Article III of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia which sets out the requirements for citizenship.
The Proposal does the following: (1) Allows an FSM Citizen who satisfies Section 2 of the FSM Constitution to hold dual citizenship. According to 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 of Micronesia by birth. (2) Restores FSM citizenship to those who lost their citizenship because they failed or were unable to renounce their citizenship of a foreign country. (3) Provides a pathway for FSM citizens who knowingly renounced their FSM citizenship to restore their FSM citizenship by meeting such requirements as Congress may provide by law; and (4) removes the sections of Article III for which there are no longer any persons eligible to claim FSM citizenship.
Revenue Sharing on Fishing Fees Proposal:
Proposal 4-13, CCD1, would amend Article IX, Section 2(m) of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to provide that revenue derived from fishing fees are shared with the States. Under the proposed amendment, States would be entitled to not less than 50% of the total fishing fees collected per year. 70% of the amount would divided among the States based on population and 30% would be divided equally among the States. Currently 100% is for the National Government and 0% for the States.
Presidential Veto Override Proposal:
Proposal 4-03 would amend Article IX, Section 2(q) of the Constitution to increase the number of votes needed for Congress to override a presidential veto. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure the proper checks and balances between the President and the Congress. Under the proposal, the affirmative votes by 2/3 of election-district-representatives and ¾ of at-large-members would be needed to override a Presidential veto. Currently, Congress can override a Presidential veto by the affirmative vote of 3 of 4 State Delegations.
Revenue Sharing-Seabed Resources Proposal:
Committee Proposal 4-06, CCD2, would amend Article IX, Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to establish how the States’ share of the net revenue from the exploitation of minerals and non-living resources within the jurisdiction of the Federated States of Micronesia beyond the 12 miles from island baselines would be shared between the respective States where the mining or exploitation took place. The amendment would establish that when two or more State governments have a claim to the revenues, each State shall be entitled to an equal percentage. Currently, the Constitution does not provide a mechanism for sharing the net revenues when more than one State has a claim.
Congress Eligibility Proposal:
Committee Proposal 4-11, CCD2, would amend Article IX, Section 9, of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to create consistency between the eligibility requirements to run for Congress and to be elected President and to require residency within the FSM to be eligible to run for Congress. To run for Congress a person would need to be at least 30 years of age on election day, a citizen of FSM by birth, a domiciliary of the State they are representing, and must be residing in the FSM for at least five years immediately prior to running for office.
Land Case Jurisdiction Proposal:
Committee Proposal 4-07, CCD2, amends Article XI, Section 6(b) of the Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to provide that the State Courts have exclusive jurisdiction of cases where an interest of land is at issue. The intent of the amendment is to create an exception to the jurisdiction of the FSM Supreme Court for cases where an interest in land is at issue. State law would establish which state court would have jurisdiction.
Independent Prosecutor Proposal:
Committee Proposal 04-09 would amend Article XII of the FSM Constitution of the Federated States of Micronesia to add a new Section 4 creating an Office of Independent Prosecutor. The Office of the Independent Prosecutor will be an independent agency of the national government tasked with investigating and prosecuting individuals, governments, and entities that receive and misuse public funds from the national government, and to investigate and prosecute certain national government officials for national offenses involving public corruption.
The citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia will have the opportunity to vote on these proposed amendments in a referendum.
“The Convention is now completed and all the adopted proposed amendments were formally transmitted to the President as required by law,” said the Secretary of the 4th FSM Constitutional Convention Mr. Kapilly Capelle in a statement. It is expected that President Panuelo will constitute the Executive Task Force for the public education as soon as practical.
Specific information on reports, proposals, journals, etc. can be easily accessed at the 4th FSM Constitutional Convention website at: constitution.gov.fm