Jesus Sablan is CEC’s chair pro tem


Commonwealth Election Commission commissioner Jesus I. Sablan discusses an issue with CEC executive director Julita Villagomez after he was voted as chair pro tem during yesterday’s CEC commissioners’ meeting at the CEC conference room in Susupe. (Ferdie de la Torre)

The Commonwealth Election Commission board selected yesterday commissioners Jesus I. Sablan and Donald Hofschneider as chairman pro tem and vice chairman pro temp, respectively.

Commissioner Esther Yatar nominated Sablan as chair pro tem, while commissioner Lailanie Manglona nominated Hofschneider as vice chair pro tem in a meeting at the CEC’s conference room in Susupe. No one objected to the nomination.

Sablan, who represents Saipan and the Northern Islands, called for the meeting because CEC has no chairperson following the expiration of the term of former chair Frances M. Sablan last Aug. 8.

Commissioner Trinidad Rabauliman’s term also expired that same day. Both Frances Sablan and Rabauliman represent Saipan and the Northern Islands.

This left CEC with four vacant commissioner positions, all representing Saipan and the Northern Islands.

Jesus Sablan said the selection of chair pro tem and vice chair pro tem is important so somebody can lead CEC’s functions.

When Gov. Ralph DLG Torres makes the appointment for the vacant positions, the commissioners will meet again to select who among thems should serve as chair.

Jesus Sablan, who said he is willing to serve as chairperson, disclosed that his third term will expire in October 2018, a month before the general elections. He, however, wants to serve another term if his health allows it.

Jesus Sablan was first appointed in 2007.

Each commissioner has a four-year term and requires Senate confirmation.

He said Torres has stated that he is willing to re-appoint Frances Sablan and Rabauliman as commissioners.

Jesus Sablan said Frances Sablan is willing to serve again, but Rabauliman might be moving off-island.

At present, CEC has five commissioners: Jesus Sablan, Hofschneider and Joseph E. Santos for Tinian and Aguiguan, and Manglona and Yatar for Rota.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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