Gov. Ralph DLG Torres wishes to fill the open slots in the Commonwealth Election Commission and the 2nd CNMI Political Status Commission as soon as possible.
There are currently five members in the supposedly nine-member election commission: chair pro tem Jesus Sablan and Patricia Mareham representing Saipan, Joseph Santos representing Tinian, and Leilanie Manglona and Esther Yatar representing Rota.
Vice chair pro tem Donald Hofschneider resigned from the commission last week.
Torres needs to appoint one more member to the election commission in order to provide an allowance to the quorum of five members during meetings, said CEC executive director Julita Villagomez.
“I was just talking to the CEC…I would probably be appointing someone first thing [this week],” said Torres in an interview last week, without specifying names.
The 2nd CNMI Political Status Commission, which is short of one person after Kimberly King-Hinds declined the appointment, is also in the sights of the governor.
The political status commission convened for the first time last March 1. Former senator Pete P. Reyes was elected chair of the commission.
The commission is tasked with conducting a massive review of the political relationship of the CNMI and the United States, as mandated by Public Law 19-63. Included in this review is determining whether or not the residents of the CNMI are satisfied with the political relationship of the CNMI and the U.S. and includes options such as the possibility of seeking independence, if so recommended by the commission.
The commission would then insert the question into a ballot to allow residents to choose.