“The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.”
While Donald Trump, the devious President, continues to preemptively suffocate the will of the people from being expressed, we here in the CNMI have held sacred the freely expressed will of our citizens in any election. Political campaigns often become personal and enterprising, but in the end the will of the people is always the honorable victor.
Our Commonwealth is relatively a young democracy, but we learned early on in our political development that when citizens make their choices freely and without coercion in an election, it must and should be protected. While election processes, with its imperfect articulations, have been challenged in court in the past, the expressed will of our citizens always prevailed.
The expressed will of our citizens during last Tuesday’s election prevailed and is now history. Our people have accepted the results, so did those candidates who sought the voters’ consent, no matter what the election outcome was, including both political parties. Though less than 70% of our voting population came out and cast their vote for their choice of candidates, the Democratic Party was humbly encouraged by the enthusiasm of our citizens who came out and exercised their right to vote. Further, the party is particularly filled with gratefulness and gratitude to hundreds of government employees who put the security of their employment at risk by casting their vote for change. Putting at risk an element of one’s life security is nothing short of bravery but, more fundamentally, it is the personification of the goodness of the will of the people.
We are extremely proud of our candidates in how they presented themselves and their ideas, for public scrutiny on their worthiness for public office. Of the 19 candidates, including the Senate bet running for office, six are incumbents and 13 are strangers to politics. The public have witnessed a collection of mothers, wives, and single professional subject themselves to the grueling process of running for public service. Nine women ran under a political party, which made it historically unprecedented. I am extremely fortunate to be part of their amazing political journey because not only were they determined and focused on the goodness of our citizens but their commitment to improve the institution from which that political power is exercised.
What a remarkable display of a group of people bonding together, for the first time, on their common interest to try and change the way our government treats its citizens. They worked tirelessly hard, even under threat of physical harm, to earn the trust and consent of the governed. They realize that once elected the power of their office is nothing else, but what is only derivative, transferred and committed to them in trust from the people.
When history is written about this election, which started off on Jan. 10 of this year, the men and women, together with the political party they chose to run under, will be filled with personal anecdotes and interesting elements of poetry. This is just one more historical accomplishment to be included in the “trailblazing” history of the Democratic Party since its incorporation back in 1958 as the Popular Party.
So, on behalf of these brave men and women on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, their families, committees, supporters, and the members of the Central Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands, I would like to extend our humble and sincerest thank you to the people of the Commonwealth, including our off-island voters, for your trust in placing your confidence in the candidates of the Democratic Party.
My final thought to our elected candidates is taken from Romans 12:3 “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgement, according to the measure of faith God has given you.”
Daniel O. Quitugua
Kannat Tabla, Saipan