CHUUK STATE SUPREME COURT
APPELLATE DIVISION
Cite as Chipen v. Election Comm'r of Losap ,
9 FSM Intrm. 80 (Chuuk S. Ct. App. 1999)

[9 FSM Intrm. 80]

TWINIS CHIPEN, as candidate for Mayor, et al.,
Appellants,

vs.

THE ELECTION COMMISSIONER OF
LOSAP MUNICIPALITY et al.,
Appellees.

CIVIL APPEAL CASE NO. 1-99

OPINION

Keske S. Marar
Associate Justice

Decided:  March 15, 1999

APPEARANCES:
For the Appellants:     Wesley Simina, Esq.
                                      P.O. Box 94
                                      Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

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HEADNOTE
Appeal and Certiorari ) Stay; Elections
     When it appears that there is no provision in the Chuuk Constitution or statutes which guarantees the right to or even permits voting by absentee ballot, the appellants have not shown a likelihood of success on appeal and their request for a stay of a trial court judgment not to deliver Losap municipal absentee ballots to voters outside of Chuuk will be denied.  Chipen v. Election Comm'r of Losap, 9 FSM Intrm. 80, 81 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 1999).
 
*    *    *    *
 
[9 FSM Intrm. 81]

COURT'S OPINION
KESKE S. MARAR, Associate Justice:
     This case comes before the Court on Appellants' motion for stay or injunction pending appeal pursuant to Rule 8, CSSC Rules of Appellate Procedure and Rule 62(c) CSSC Rules of Civil Procedure.

     The Appellants' motion is being made to and considered by a single Justice as an exceptional case due to the requirements of time as provided for by Rule 8(a) of the Appellate Rules.

     The Appellants seek review of the decision of the Trial Division in denying injunctive relief against the Appellees which would require Appellees to ignore the provisions of Losap Municipal Ordnance No. 08-98 and deliver absentee ballots to voters outside Chuuk State.

     The issue addressed by the Trial Division and that which controls in the disposition of Appellants' motion is whether absentee voting and ballots for that purpose can be constitutionally regulated or denied by municipal ordinance?

     I have reviewed the decision of the Trial Division and find no error in the conclusions reached therein.  Additionally, I find no provision in the Chuuk State Constitution or Statutes which guarantee the right or even permit voting by absentee ballot.

     To the contrary, Article XII, 3 provides authority for the legislature to enact laws for "the protection of voting in the State of Chuuk."  And 4 provides "for the administration of elections in the State of Chuuk."  Chk. Const. art. XII (emphasis added).  Also, it is clear that any such legislative enactments must yield to the mandates of Article XIII, 5 of the Constitution, which states:  "The powers and functions of a municipality with respect to its local affairs and government are superior to statutory law."

     Appellants' contention that Losap Municipal Ordinance No. 08-98 was unconstitutionally enacted is without merit and of no consequence to the issues in this case in that Appellants have shown no right and cite no authority for voting by absentee ballot.  The primary burden of Appellants, which they have not met, is a showing that they have a likelihood of success on the merits on appeal.

     For the foregoing reasons, the Appellants' motion for Stay or Injunction is due to be denied, and it is so ordered.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
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