Chuuk Political Status Commission Holds Public Hearing (Honolulu)

Mark Mailo gives his opening remarks at the Honolulu hearing. (L-R; Jacob Esah, Winiplat Bisalen, Carsom Enlet, Johnny Meippen, Julio Marar, Mark Mailo. Not pictured: Sabino Asor.)

The Chuuk Political Status Commission continued their tour to educate, inform and recommend their plan for independence.

Key points in the hearing:

  1. The CPSC is conducting their hearings, "in the name of Chuuk state", referring to the "endorse[ment]" of Chuuk's legislature of the resolution. (Read their Final Report).
  2. According to the commission, since the constitution is "silent" or has no provision or outline on state secession from the FSM, the final decision for separation will belong to the citizens of Chuuk. The commission mentioned that they will bring the matter to the FSM national government but the final decision for secession will be decided by Chuuk state citizens.
  3. The process of independence was outlined: The voting scheduled for March 3 is to "ascertain the thoughts of the citizens" [translated]. If the votes are in favor for independence, Chuuk state leaders will hold a constitutional convention to begin "design[ing]" Chuuk's constitution. A second voting period will be held to vote on the new constitution. Only after this second vote can the people of Chuuk declare independence.
  4. Members of the commission continued to emphasize that the move for independence is not all about money. Although money is a huge factor, freedom is the main reason. According to the commission, a free and autonomous Chuuk will better stand to bring economic growth and overall development after compact funding expires in 2023.
  5. The CPSC stressed that relations with the USA is also a top priority. It is the intention of the CPSC and Chuuk's legislature to negotiate a similar compact with the United States. Members of the commission said that they do not wish to bring any difficulties to Chuukese citizens who are residing in the USA.